Job growth hits speed bump in US

Job growth hits speed bump in US

With labour market slack diminishing, wage growth picked up a bit in March. Still, over the past six months, employers have added a healthy average of 211,000 jobs per month, evidence that hiring in the United States remains strong and the economy is on solid footing in its ninth year of recovery from the Great Recession.

Areas that saw job gains included manufacturing, health care and mining, the government report said. Manufacturing employment rose by 22,000 jobs in March, and the economy has added 263,000 manufacturing jobs since President Trump took office after experiencing a net job loss of 1,000 jobs per month in the past year of the Obama Administration.

US workers are increasingly benefiting as employers struggle to fill millions of open jobs.

Powell said that he and his colleagues discussed the trade situation when they met about two weeks ago, but indicated that it was too early to speak of implications for the economic outlook.

Businesses added 103,000 jobs, the Labor Department reported Friday. "Anecdotal reports indicate that employers are increasingly willing to take on and train workers they would not have considered in the past".

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.

The pullback in hiring last month likely was payback for an explosive gain in February, economists said.

"The question that looms large now is how trade talks will impact hiring in the second quarter", he said in a note warning of the economy "now entering a treacherous phase".

Hotels and restaurants added just 4,300 workers, the fewest in six months.

Over the past three years, Ontario's economy has outperformed all G7 countries in terms of real GDP growth. The retail sector shed 4,400 jobs after adding 47,300 positions in February. The labor force participation rate, or the proportion of working-age Americans who have a job or are looking for one, slipped one-tenth of a percentage point to 62.9 percent in March after rising to a five-month high of 63.0 percent in February. Macroeconomic Advisers, a consulting firm, forecasts the economy grew at just a 1.4 percent annual rate in the January-March quarter - less than half the 2.9 percent annual pace of the October-December quarter. "If anything, the wage data are beginning to strengthen the argument for three more hikes this year".

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Friday that such measures "suggest a labor market that is in the neighborhood of maximum employment", meaning that few workers are still on the sidelines and a further decline in the unemployment rate could raise inflation.

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