U.S. job growth slows sharply in March
Nationally, the unemployment rate decreased to 4.5 percent in March as the US added 98,000 jobs in the healthcare, mining and professional and business service industries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That represents a sharp slowdown from February and fell well short of economists' expectations. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 68 cents, or 2.7 percent.
But don't get fooled by dour headlines.
The economy appears to have slowed in the first three months of the year, though most economists expect a rebound in the current April-June quarter. As for hospitality, retail, and leisure: No one wants to travel or shop if it's gross out, and businesses adjust their immediate hiring accordingly. "The gains are broad-based but most notable in the goods producing side of the economy including construction, manufacturing and mining".
But the report also contained numerous bright spots. Yet at the same time, the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in almost a decade. That was thanks mostly to a decline in the short-term unemployed, or those out of work and seeking a job for less than five weeks. The March figure is a drop from the 2.8 percent nominal annual wage growth recorded in February. February's jobs report was the first under Trump and was seized upon by the president as evidence that his promise to bring back USA manufacturing jobs was coming true. He's stayed silent on this report so far.
Emery said the latest jobs report reflects population distribution within the province, different opportunities and a mis-measuring of where people are earning their incomes.
"I think the job market is in a phenomenal place right now", Sales Consultants of Grand Rapids recruiter Jordan Underwood told InsideSources.
But for a labor market that's already challenged by a dwindling supply of unemployed workers, the report may be flashing more warning signs of overheating than of cooling.
At the same time, a measure of hiring in the service sector, which makes up about 80% of the economy, fell sharply.
The drop in unemployment rate came as the household survey of employment showed an increase of 472,000 people, while the labor force increased by just 145,000 people.
The BLS reported that the official unemployment rate fell to 4.5% in March, better than the 4.7% expected by Bloomberg and the 4.7% in February. Their unemployment rate was 8 percent in March, a 0.1 percent drop from February.
Still, some areas of the economy are humming: Developers are building more homes, with construction starts up 7.5 percent in January and February compared with a year earlier. In March, 1.6 million people were marginally attached to the labor force, little changed from a year earlier. That's the lowest rate since May 2007.
However, hiring slowed substantially in March, President Trump's second full month in office.
Sweet adds that the mix of job growth begins to favor high wage industries as economic expansions age. The U.S. added and 26,000 factory jobs in February and 11,000 in March.
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