Payrolls grow by 103,000 jobs in March
Friday, April 06, 2018
Employers added 103,000 new nonfarm jobs in March vs. 313,000 in February and 200,000 January, as the unemployment rate held at 4.1 percent for the sixth straight month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Job growth occurred in healthcare, manufacturing and mining.
Black workers' unemployment rate remained at 6.9 percent in March, matching February's level, and down from 7.7 percent in January. The March jobless rate for white workers was 3.6 percent, down from 3.7 percent in February and January. The jobless rate for Hispanic adults was 5.1 percent in March vs. 4.9 percent in February and January.
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was 1.3 million in March compared with 1.4 million in January and February. March's jobless total accounted for 20.3 percent of the total unemployed persons, compared with 20.7 percent in February and 21.5 percent in January.
BLS employment data of six consecutive months of 4.1 percent joblessness spotlights strengthening of the labor market and the staying power of an economic expansion since the June 2009 end of the Great Recession and financial crash that sparked it.
In March, average hourly earnings for all workers on private nonfarm payrolls climbed 8 cents to $26.82, having edged up to $26.75 in February and $26.68 in January. "Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 71 cents, or 2.7 percent," the BLS reports.
"This suggests that workers may finally be getting back some of the share of income they lost to profits in the Great Recession,” according to Dean Baker, senior economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C.
The employment-to-population ratio (the share of the labor force now employed vs. the total working-age population) remained at 60.4 percent in March, matching February's level and 60.1 percent in January.
Small businesses of 1-49 employees added 47,000 new hires in March vs. 68,000 in February and 58,000 jobs in January, according to the ADP National Employment Report. Firms of 50-499 workers increased payrolls by 127,000 new jobs in March compared with 97,000 hires in February and 91,000 in January. Large companies of 500 or more employees hired 67,000 new workers in March vs. 70,000 in February and 91,000 in January.
"The job market is rip-roaring," said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics, which co-produces the monthly report with ADP, in a statement. "Monthly job growth remains firmly over 200,000, double the pace of labor force growth. The tight labor market continues to tighten."
In a policy response to the tightening of the American labor market, the Federal Reserve Bank has begun to hike interest rates, with plans to raise the rates twice more this year and three times in 2019. The Fed fears that rising workers' wages from a tight labor market of 4.1 percent for six straight months that improves workers' bargaining power with employers, could unleash inflation, e.g., rising pay and prices.
According to ADP's March report, service jobs grew 176,000 in March from 198,000 in February and 212,000 in January. Professional/business services led the way, adding 43,000 jobs in March vs. 46,000 in February and 46,000 in January.
The goods-producing sector hired 65,000 workers in March vs. 37,000 hires in February and 22,000 in January. Manufacturing payrolls grew by 29,000 jobs in March compared with 14,000 in February and 12,000 in January.
"We saw impressive momentum in the first quarter of 2018 with more jobs added per month on average than in 2017," said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute. "Mid-sized businesses added nearly half of all jobs this month, the best growth this segment has seen since the fall of 2014. The manufacturing industry also performed well, with its strongest increase in more than three years."
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