Retail trade lost 30,000 jobs, while manufacturing, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, leisure and hospitality, and information saw little change during the month, it said. Initial jobless claims, a barometer of layoffs rose steadily through the month. Just 6,000 construction workers got new job in March.
Background and Analysis: On a year-over-year (y/y) basis (March 2017 over March 2016), total nonfarm employment was up 1.5%, and monthly job gains have averaged approximately 182,000 over the past 12 months.
It was a mixed report in some aspects and weak in others.
For Hispanic and Latino workers, unemployment fell to a 10-year-low of 5.1 percent.
Compared to a year earlier, the categories of full-time and part-time work have each increased 1.5 per cent.
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 retail sector continued to struggle last month.
Professional services and healthcare were primary drivers of employment gains, supported by strength in manufacturing (+11K) and natural resources & mining (+11K), which showed their fourth- and fifth-consecutive months of growth, respectively.
But in March, construction companies added just 6,000 jobs, the fewest in seven months.
Also pointing to some pullback in job gains, global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported on Thursday that US -based employers announced 43,310 job cuts in March, up 17 percent from February.
The unemployment rate dropped to 4.5 percent in March, the lowest since 2007. Their unemployment rate was 8 percent in March, a 0.1 percent drop from February. Yet at the same time, the unemployment rate reached the lowest level in almost a decade. In the first three months of this year, job gains have averaged 178,000 per month.
While the bigger establishment survey showed fewer jobs created last month, the smaller and more volatile survey of households showed employment increased 472,000.
Save for a dip after the failed Medicare project, consumer and business sentiment has soared since the November presidential election, but the increased optimism hasn't yet accelerated growth. The higher interest rates are meant to signal a return to normal, but we are not there, yet.
Businesses have been ordering more high-cost manufactured good since fall, a reflection of stepped-up investment. The U.S. now has more than six times as much retail capacity per capita as Europe or Japan, Hayne said. It is also a report that simultaneously may be blamed on weather and may question some of the new pro-growth expansion's real effectiveness.