Unemployment Rate Remains Low, US Added 196K Jobs in March

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs bounced back in March as non-farm payrolls expanded by 196,000 as the unemployment rate held at 3.8%.

Construction picked up 16,000 jobs in March after shedding 25,000 jobs a month earlier and, over the last 12 months, the industry has expanded by 246,000 jobs.

"Today's report suggests that the labor market remains healthy, which should ease recession concerns and curb expectations of a Fed rate cut for the moment", he said.

The labor-force participation rate, similarly, was relatively flat at 63 percent month over month. In 2018, the economy added 2.6 million new jobs over the course of the year compared with 2.2 million in 2017 and 2.3 million in 2016.

MA added 20,300 jobs from From February 2018 to February 2019. Temporary help employment was up 1.5% y/y, with monthly job gains averaging approximately 3,700 over the past 12 months.

Employment has been one of the most-resilient areas of an economy that has shown signs of slowing down in recent months.

Restaurants and bars also did a lot of hiring last month, adding 27,000 positions.

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In March, employment in food services and drinking places continued its upward trend (+27,000), in line with its average monthly gain over the prior 12 months. This was offset by gains in architecture, engineering and management services.

Employment in other major industries, including mining, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, and government, showed little change over the month.

Most economic indicators show slower growth in 2019, so hiring is likely to fall behind the pace seen previous year.

Average hourly earnings also benefited in March.

The labour market continues to improve in one respect: annual hourly wage gains accelerated to 2.4 per cent in March, the fastest annual gain since September, up from 2.3 per cent in February.

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed at 4.5 million in March.

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