Jobs Added to the Economy in March, Unemployment Is 4.5%

US weekly jobless claims post largest drop in almost two years

Canada added a greater-than-expected 19,400 jobs in March, a lot of them full-time, while the unemployment rate edged up to 6.7 percent as more people sought work, Statistics Canada data indicated on Friday.

USA employers added just 98,000 jobs in March, the fewest in a year, though the unemployment rate fell to a almost 10-year low of 4.5 percent. In January the economy created 216,000 jobs, not 238,000; the revised number for February was 219,000, not 235,000.

That's a substantial decrease from the previous two months, which both saw job gains of more than 230,000. Economists attributed the slowdown in part to the strong employment gains made in recent years, with unemployment now down to 4.5%, its lowest level since 2007.

The labor force participation rate remained at 63% and the employment-population ratio also was flat at 60.1%.

Effectively, the average hourly earnings rose at an annual pace of roughly 2.7 percent, in March, following that 2.8 percent increase from February.

Manufacturing and construction industries job growth cooled somewhat from February, adding 11,000 and 6,000 jobs in March, respectively. She says this is the latest in a series of mostly positive reports on the job market.

Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed, or those without work for more than 26 weeks, has fallen by 526,000.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said the Trump administration needed to start enacting policies to boost job growth instead of just talking about it. One person can be employed, but have two jobs, so would count as two jobs in the payroll survey but one person employed. Within the service-providing sector, employment increases included 100 in information, 400 in financial activities, 200 in educational and health services, and 500 in leisure and hospitality. Retail trade (-30K), on the other hand, contracted markedly for the second straight month. But wage growth has been relatively flat since the recession despite the steady increase in jobs. The sector added just 6,000 net new jobs in March, the worst in seven months, after payrolls surged by 59,000 in February.

A low level of layoffs typically coincides with steady employment growth.

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