But There Is A Slowdown In Growth
Over the past three months, the economy added an average of 209,000 jobs — down from the average of 282,000 new jobs per month in the fourth quarter.
At the same time, wages increased last month, with average hourly earnings rising 0.3 percent.
That pushed the year-on-year earnings gain to 2.3 percent from 2.2 percent in February.
The unemployment rate however, showed a slight movement upwards from 4.9 to 5.0 percent.
The workforce participation rate rose to 63 percent — its highest level in two years.
The positive and negative areas of employment in March, according to Labor, were:
- Manufacturing lost 29,000 jobs, the largest number since December 2009, despite signs of stabilization in the factory sector.
- Mining purged 12,000 more jobs last month. Mining payrolls have declined by 185,000 jobs since peaking in September 2014, with three-fourths of the losses in support activities.
- Construction payrolls rose 37,000, increasing for a ninth straight month.
- Retail employment surged 47,700 after rising strongly in January and February despite weak sales.
- Government payrolls increased 20,000 last month.
Yvad Billings, Readers Bureau, Fellow
Edited by Jesus Chan
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