U.S Adds 236,000 Jobs as Labor Market Slows in March

The United States added 236,000 new jobs in March, slightly below the market estimate of 238,000, according to the latest government data.

The jobs numbers, from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), show the labor market weakened last month.

The number of jobs added to the economy in March is down significantly from the 326,000 that were created in February and represented the lowest print in 27 months.

The unemployment rate also dropped to 3.5 percent, down from 3.6%.

The labor force participation rate edged up to 62.6 percent, up slightly from 62.5%.

Average hourly earnings rose 0.3 percent month-over-month, up from 0.2 percent.

On a year-over-year basis, average hourly earnings slowed to 4.2 percent, down from 4.6 percent.

Leisure and hospitality led the way, with 72,000 new jobs.

This was followed by government employment (47,000), professional and business services (39,000), and health care (34,000).

Transportation and warehousing added 10,000 positions.

Meanwhile, the retail sector lost 15,000 jobs and manufacturing payrolls remained relatively flat.

The number of people employed part-time for economic reasons was flat at 4.1 million, and the number of people not in the labor force who want employment was unchanged at 4.9 million.

The number of people working two or more jobs rose to 7.979 million, up from 7.904 million.

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Self-employed workers declined to 9.839 million, down from 10.119 million.

Peter Schiff, the chief economist and global strategist at Euro Pacific Capital, tweeted that the jobs data was stronger because of new government workers.

“The only reason the Mar. jobs report wasn’t well below estimates was that governments hired a lot more workers than expected,” he said.

“When the private sector creates #jobs, businesses absorb the cost.

“But when governments create jobs taxpayers pick up the cost.

“That makes things worse.”

Meanwhile, there was little reaction in the financial markets on Friday.

The leading benchmarks were flat in pre-market trading.

The U.S. Dollar Index (DXY), a measurement of the greenback against a basket of currencies, surged above 102.00.

The U.S. Treasury market was mostly up at the end of the trading week.

The benchmark 10-year yield rose about 5 basis points to nearly 3.36 percent.

“Though job openings dropped this month and will likely continue to slow in the coming months, the labor market remains resilient on several fronts, particularly in COVID-sensitive verticals,” said Cody Harker, the head of data and insights at recruitment marketing firm Bayard Advertising, in a statement.

“Leisure and hospitality continue to dominate all sectors, underscored by healthy consumer spending on services.”

READ MORE: Facebook to Slash ‘Thousands More Jobs’ as Company Continues to Struggle

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By Nick R. Hamilton

Nick has a broad background in journalism, business, and technology. He covers news on cryptocurrency, traditional assets, and economic markets.

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