USA job creation tumbles in March; unemployment steady at 4.1 per cent

USA job creation tumbles in March; unemployment steady at 4.1 per cent

USA job creation tumbles in March; unemployment steady at 4.1 per cent

March's job growth was below the 202,000 average of the past three months and matched to the roughly 100,000 jobs per month needed to keep up with growth in the working-age population.

Economists had been expecting a payrolls gain of 193,000 and the unemployment rate to decline one-tenth of a point to 4 percent.

"The principle story as we see it is that despite above trend jobs growth in the main, the unemployment rate has been flat for six months".

Friday's report also showed that job growth in January was revised down slightly, to job gains of 176,000 from 239,000 to start the year, while February's data were revised slightly higher as 326,000 jobs are now estimated to have been created in the year's second month. Economists are stumped about why worker pay isn't growing faster, given that unemployment is at its lowest rate in 18 years. The number equates to 2.7 percent on an annualized basis.

"Considering how tight the labor market is in terms of the unemployment rate and [slow] population growth, it's hard to maintain 200,000 jobs being added every month", said Cathy Barrera, chief economist at ZipRecruiter.

The Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate remained 4.1 percent, a 17-year low, for a sixth straight month.

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The average hourly wage for private sector workers was $26.82 in March, up 2.7% from a year ago.

On average, since mid-2017, employers had been adding about 211,000 jobs a month.

However, wage growth picked up in March. The economy grew at a 2.9 percent pace in the fourth quarter.

There is hope that wage growth will accelerate in the second half of the year and allow the USA central bank to continue raising interest rates.

The Fed increased borrowing costs last month and forecast two more interest rate hikes this year.

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