March Jobs Report: Where the Jobs Are (and Aren't)


March Jobs Report: Where the Jobs Are (and Aren't)

The unemployment rate in March fell to 4.5 percent from February's 4.7 percent, the BLS said in its April 7 report.

The US Labor Department also revised the number of jobs created in February down from 235,000 to 219,000, while the figure for January was lowered from 238,000 to 216,000.

Temporary help was a bright spot within a monthly employment report that mostly underwhelmed, showing a gain above its trailing-12-month average and continuing to accelerate on a year-over-year basis. The unemployment rate was the lowest since 2007, before the Great Recession hit.

The civilian labor force participation rate was 63.0%, unchanged from February. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.7 percent, slightly lower than the 2.8 percent growth in the previous month.

On the goods-producing side, mining added 11,000 jobs, up from February's tally of 8,000 jobs added. More than 6,200 area residents returned to the job market since December, a growth rate of 1.9 percent, and almost 90 percent of them found jobs during that period.

"Hiring in March was expected to drop after the monthly gains of more than 200,000 in the two previous months, but this marks the weakest showing for the economy in almost a year", writes Nelson D. Schwartz at The New York Times. Another report, however, showed private payrolls surged by 263,000 jobs in March. A person who has worked even one hour a week during the survey period is counted as employed.

Jobless rates rose in four of Colorado's six other metropolitan areas with unemployment declining in Fort Collins and Grand Junction, but increasing in Boulder, Denver, Greeley and Pueblo. And wages continued to show solid growth. There were 30,000 new jobs in manufacturing and 34,000 in trade/transportation/utilities, it said.

Weather-related disruptions to the economy could have slowed hiring in March, and employers could be finding it more hard to fill job openings as labor market slack diminishes.

Strong employment gains and a falling unemployment rate from March through May could convince the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates again in June, following two hikes since December. Education and health care services added the fewest jobs for that category in 15 months.



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