Hiring Rebounded in March as Economy Added 196,000 Jobs

Employees at a board meeting. GETTY IMAGES  Hero Images

Employees at a board meeting. GETTY IMAGES Hero Images

"There's nothing great about this report, but first-quarter hiring still looks very brisk, if anything still too brisk for an economy that's likely chugging along at a 1 per cent to 1.5 per cent growth rate", said Avery Shenfeld, chief economist at CIBC Capital Markets in a note.

Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 4 cents last month to $27.70, after a 10-cent gain in February.

The March unemployment rate was 3.8 percent, the same as in February. This evidence of slowing is limited, but there certainly is no basis in this report for believing that a tight labor market is creating inflationary pressures in the economy.

Labour force numbers, which had been rising strongly along with jobs, also declined slightly in March, down by 11,300.

The number of Americans claiming unemployment insurance hit a 50-year low Thursday. Both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite grew 0.3 percent.

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In March, the number of employee positions in the private sector fell by 17,300, while public sector-employee jobs increased by 4,200 and self-employed occupations rose by 6,000.

After revisions, job gains have averaged 180,000 per month over the last 3 months. A year ago, the unemployment rate was 14.4 per cent. Nursing and residential care facilities added 8,500 jobs.

The Atlanta Federal Reserve's GDPNow economic forecasting model shows that US gross domestic product growth for the remainder of the first financial quarter now sits at 2.1 percent.

There were notable job gains in health care and in professional and technical services, adding 49,000 and 34,000 jobs respectively. In March, computer systems design and related services added 12,000 jobs.

It was only a matter of time before Canada's jobs market cooled after a sharp rise in employment in recent months, particularly as other indicators have showed a much weaker picture. However, a sharp jump of 56,000 reported in January means the three-month average is still 15,700.

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