March US job growth slower than expected


March US job growth slower than expected

The US economy ended a tumultuous week with disappointing news. The unemployment rate also remained at 4.1 per cent for the sixth month in a...

Economists had predicted 185,000 jobs. Last month, the Fed modestly raised its benchmark rate to a still-low range of 1.5 percent to 1.75 percent. It has come down steadily from a peak of 10% in 2009.

The unemployment rate is expected to dip to 4% and average hourly earnings to rise 0.3% after February's 0.1% increase. That unexpected surge triggered a plunge in financial markets, with investors fearing that accelerating wage growth might lead the Federal Reserve to step up its pace of interest rate hikes to control inflation.

As for March's jobs report, economists are expecting around 190,000 jobs to have been added, down from February's surprisingly robust 313,000 additions.

Responding to Trump's first round of proposed tariffs, Chinese officials earlier this week announced they would apply tariffs on $50 billion of U.S. exports to China.

But in the context of self-congratulations for his recent decision to impose tariffs on aluminum imports, President Donald Trump tweeted Friday that 'Lots of money [is] coming into USA coffers and Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!' The tariffs apply to most nations, though Trump has granted exemptions to six nations and the European Union. Despite the slowdown in job growth in March, steady wage gains should support consumer spending amid signs gross domestic product growth moderated in the first quarter. The Labor Department does its monthly surveys around the 12th day in every month.

■ 103,000 jobs were added last month.

USA real GDP increased at a 2.9 percent annualized rate in the fourth quarter of 2017, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported on March 28, and by 2.3 percent in 2017 from the 2016 annual level.

The pace of growth slowed significantly from February, when the figure was above 300,000.

The breakdown of data across industries showed manufacturing added 22,000 jobs. Business services gained 33,000.

Snowstorms and floods in the northeast are likely to have played a part in the weaker gain in March, with jobs in the construction sector falling by 15,000.

Businesses added 241,000 jobs in March, with construction, manufacturing and transportation leading the growth, payroll processor ADP said Wednesday in a separate estimate.

The one tiresome spot in February's report was wage growth, which slowed from January.



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