Weak Payroll Growth Seen in March

By Toni Vranjes

April 7, 2017

Employers added a relatively small number of jobs in March, and the employment picture for the month isn’t very clear.

The number of jobs created was just 98,000, the Labor Department reported today. That contrasts with 219,000 new jobs in February, and 216,000 in January.

Growth occurred in professional and business services, health care, mining, and certain other areas. Employment in retail trade dropped by 30,000.

Weather conditions may have played a small role in the numbers, by reducing construction employment, IHS Markit economist Patrick Newport told Revive My Career. But overall, the weak growth is hard to explain, he added.

Meanwhile, the jobless rate dropped to 4.5 percent, the lowest it’s been in almost 10 years. Overall, Newport says the job market is doing okay, despite the sluggish employment growth in March.

“It’s probably noise,” because the number is so out of line with recent numbers, Newport observed.

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