Young professionals - The Mark Company
April 6, 2018

The American Economy Added 103,000 Jobs Last Month

Although March's U.S. jobs report is somewhat of a disappointment, overall employment growth was strong in the first quarter. Pacific Union Chief Economist Selma Hepp examines the latest labor market trends.

 

  • Today’s national employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics did not live up to expectations, with the country adding 103,000 jobs in March and the report including a downward revision of 50,000 jobs for January and February. Over the last year, U.S. employers added 2.261 million jobs in total. The unemployment rate held steady at 4.1 percent, comparable to numbers recorded in 2000. While last month’s job additions alone may be disappointing, February’s strong gains — triple March numbers — may have pulled forward some of the growth. Still, the job market is off to a solid start in 2018, with an average of 202,000 jobs added per month during the first quarter.
  • Economists believe that large monthly job gains will be difficult to sustain at the current unemployment rate without significant retraining of the labor force and/or wage growth.
  • Furthermore, low March numbers are mostly due to large fluctuations in construction and retail jobs. The construction sector added 65,000 jobs in February, then lost 15,000 in March due to weather patterns — particularly in the Northeast, where winter storms hit hard last month. Still, the U.S. construction sector has seen solid growth this year, adding a total of 78,000 jobs. The retail sector saw similarly large variations.

 

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