192,000 Jobs added in March
The most recent jobs report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that March employment rose by 192,000 jobs. Private sector jobs added last month have surpassed the numbers in December 2007, the highest numbers before the recession. All jobs lost in the 2008 financial crisis have been recovered, making this a milestone for the economy. However, despite this pleasing number, the national unemployment rate remains at a stagnant 6.7 percent.
This is a strong end of the quarter for the US economy. Over the past year, unemployment numbers declined by 1.2 million and the unemployment rate fell .8 percentage points. On average, 183,000 jobs were created each month, and March’s figures exceeded that number by 9,000.
Snow melts away, job market shines
The sun is shining and weather is no longer a burden on the job market. Hiring numbers in the Midwest and Northeast have gradually been recovering from the huge decline during the harsh winter season. Numbers are picking up speed and the Professional and Business Services sector is growing. The sector added 57,000 jobs in March, which is in line with its monthly average of 56,000 jobs created. While hiring in the financial activities sector remained nearly the same from February to March, the sector has proven to be on a solid, strong path.
“Overall, now that the weather-related weakness is behind us, we anticipate that the monthly gains in payroll employment will remain close to the 200,000 mark, driving the unemployment rate gradually lower and allowing the Fed to continue winding down its monthly asset purchases,” Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics, said in a recent article by CNBC.
Wages up 49 cents from last year
For the past few years, employers have had an influx of resumes, giving little incentive to raise their wages to retain their current employees. Could this be the turning point for wages in America? Wages fell by 1 cent in March, but according to the BLS, they’re still up 49 cents from last year. Tom Simons, an economist with Jefferies & Co., recently told CNN that he thinks the job market is nearing a turning point for wages.
“We’ll be eclipsing the prior peak [for private sector jobs], and finally entering the expansion part of this recovery,” Simons said. “We think this is a very significant milestone.”
The drop in jobless claims, along with other positive takeaways from the March jobs report prove that the economy had a strong first quarter finish. It’s predicted that we will see faster growth for the second quarter, which will eventually lead to a solid year of growth for the US job market and economy.
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