Momentum in United States jobs runs into a headwind

Adjust Comment Print

Employers added 103,000 positions to the US workforce in March, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday - the smallest workforce increase since last fall.

Employment in Ontario increased by 10,600 jobs in March and the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.5 per cent, the lowest it has been since July 2000.

Ashworth added that while March's job gains were weaker than expected, "there is still evidence of an acceleration in the underlying pace of employment growth... looking through the volatility, employment growth is trending higher and wage growth is starting to heat up". "The job market is widely regarded to be close to full employment".


Average hourly earnings rose by 8 cents, settling at $26.82.

However, wage growth picked up in March. For black Americans, the unemployment rate was 6.9 percent; it was 3.6 percent for white workers. Macroeconomic Advisers' most recent tracking estimate was 1.5 percent growth; the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta's "GDPNow" forecasting model has it at 2.3 percent. "Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.7 percent". Workers unemployed for less than 14 weeks decreased by 118,000, while the number of long-term unemployed, those jobless for 27 weeks or more, fell by 75,000 and accounted for 20.3% of the unemployed. There is hope that wage growth will accelerate in the second half of the year and allow the Fed to continue raising interest rates.

That mainly took place in the final days of the month, however. Unless the issues get resolved quickly, we may be seeing a stasis in job creation that could hamper the positive impact of the administration's other economic policies, especially the tax cuts. They can't afford multiple months of below-expectation job growth.

Comments