U.S. Misses Jobs Projection

(FiveNation.com)- According to recent statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the US economy generated 431,000 new jobs in March. That’s fewer jobs than predicted in March, as the labor market tightened amid rising prices and fears of an impending recession.

The seven hundred fifty thousand positions created in February made March figures even more dismaying.

Dow Jones polled economists, who predicted 490,000 people on payrolls and 3.7 percent unemployment. We didn’t get there.

Unemployment among discouraged employees and those working part-time for economic reasons decreased to a seasonally adjusted 6.9%, down 0.3 percentage points from the previous month.

The labor force participation rate increased by a tenth of a percentage point to 62.4 percent, bringing it within one point of its pre-pandemic level in February 2020. The labor force grew by 418,000 people, putting it within 174,000 people of its pre-pandemic level.

As expected, average hourly wages, a frequently monitored inflation indicator, gained 0.4 percent for the month. On a 12-month basis, compensation increased by approximately 5.6 percent, which was somewhat higher than expected. The average workweek fell by 0.1 hours to 34.6 hours, which impacts production.

Leisure and hospitality, as has been the case for much of the Covid pandemic period, dominated employment creation with 112,000 new jobs.

Professional and business services contributed 102,000 to the total, while retail and manufacturing increased by 49,000 and 38,000, respectively. Social assistance (25,000), construction (19,000), and financial activities (16,000)  were among the other industries that recorded growth.

The survey of households revealed an even more upbeat picture, with a total gain of 736,000 jobs. This increased overall employment to within 408,000 of its pre-pandemic level.

Revisions from previous months were likewise impressive. The number for January increased by 23,000 to 504,000, and the total for February was revised up to 750,000 from the previous tally of 678,000. Job creation totaled 1.685 million in the first quarter, an average of approximately 562,000 per month.

Individually, the Black unemployment rate plummeted 0.4 percentage points to 6.2 percent, while Asian unemployment fell to 2.8 percent and Hispanic unemployment fell to 4.2 percent.