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March Jobs Report: Where the Jobs Are (and Aren't)
20 April 2017, 07:19 | Kelvin Horton
Economists Wait Eagerly For March Jobs Report To Analyze The Employment Trend In The Country
A decline in retail employment was a key factor that kept job growth low in March, with the sector losing 30,000 jobs for the month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.
Overall job growth in March was well below the 219,000 figure from the previous month. That number seems small on the surface, but average hourly earnings have risen by 68 cents (a gain of 2.7%) from a year ago.
In its report Friday, the government also revised down the job growth for January and February by a combined 38,000.
How did the unemployment rate manage to drop so much when the job gain was so weak?
The unemployment rate fell to 4.5 percent, its lowest level in almost a decade.
Aberdeen Asset Management investment strategist Luke Bartholomew said the decline in job creation was another sign of a "pretty tight" labour market.
"Even if payrolls are slowing down, I'm not sure that that means the labor market is weakening", Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Amherst Pierpont Securities LLC, told Bloomberg. Many analysts blame the blizzard for the slowdown but some fear the demand for new construction could be weakening.
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