Economy adds 98000 jobs in March

Pace of US hiring tumbles, yet jobless rate hits 10-year low

Post-9/11 vet unemployment up in March

It's a disappointment, given the US added 219,000 jobs in February and averaged 187,000 new jobs a month previous year. The increase in USA transportation sector hiring follows a revised gain of 8,100 positions in February and a 10,200-job loss in January. The unemployment rate for teens dropped to 13.7 percent from 15 percent.

BLS Revisions: The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for January was revised from +238,000 to +216,000, and the change for February was revised from +235,000 to +219,000.

Average hourly earnings increased 5 cents or 0.2 percent in March after rising 0.3 percent in February. Employers added 98,000 jobs last month - far fewer than the 180,000 expected by economists and less than half the figure for January and February.

The labor force participation rate, or the share of working-age Americans who are employed or at least looking for a job, held at an 11-month high of 63 percent in March.

The unemployment rate fell because almost a half-million more Americans reported finding jobs, the government said.

Employment growth unexpectedly slowed in March, hurt in part by job losses in the retail industry. The March figure is a drop from the 2.8 percent nominal annual wage growth recorded in February.

The report showed that large numbers of teenagers, women and Latinos found jobs last month.

Those gains helped Alberta's unemployment rate dip a bit lower to 8.4 per cent in March, the federal agency said Friday.

Stats SA says the gain in employment in the December quarter was largely due to gains in the trade, business services and manufacturing sectors.

The household survey, unlike the payroll survey, captures farm workers, the self-employed and people who work for new companies.

Initial jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs across the USA, decreased by 25,000 to a seasonally adjusted 234,000 in the week ended April 1, the Labor Department said Thursday. On the other hand, retail payrolls fell 29,700, dropping for the second month in a row. For much of the recovery, wages were only growing about 2%.

Weather-related disruptions to the economy could have slowed hiring in March, and employers could be finding it more hard to fill job openings as labor market slack diminishes.

A rate of unemployment under 5% indicates that an economy is in "full employment".

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