The U.S. economy gained 196,000 jobs in March, and the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.8%, according to figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Continued lower levels of job growth provide good reason for the Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee to express caution in considering any interest rate hikes.
In response to the March job numbers, AFL-CIO Chief Economist William Spriggs tweeted:
Average hourly earnings moderate to a 3.2% increase comparing March 2018 to March 2019. Moderating wage growth and job growth under 200,000 for two months coincide with moderation in GDP growth. @AFLCIO— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) April 5, 2019
After three straight months of increase in the Black unemployment rate, it falls to 6.7% in March, but for the wrong reasons, labor force participation dips from 62.5 to 62.1% and the share employed falls for third straight month. @rolandsmartin @AFLCIO— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) April 5, 2019
Unemployment rate holds steady in March at 3.8% from a decline in labor force participation and a slight dip in the employment-to-population ratio. With February and March numbers, shows a slowing labor market. Obviously, the @federalreserve got it right. @AFLCIO #JobsReport pic.twitter.com/4iiCq7sLEm— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) April 5, 2019
Labor Force Participation rate drops for all education attainment levels in March in new @BLS_gov report, except for college educated workers. So, unemployment is steady for the wrong reasons. @AFLCIO #JobsReport pic.twitter.com/oIeQAfF1Tv— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) April 5, 2019
Another, its not a good sign when... The share of the unemployed who are long time unemployed (over 6 months) has been increasing three straight months. Meaning its getting more difficult to get back into jobs. @AFLCIO #JobsReport pic.twitter.com/uMZMofHiae— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) April 5, 2019
Weakening auto sales showing in manufacturing of motor vehicles, down 6,300 in March. This doesn't erase the gain over the year from last March, but makes the annual gain now only 3,500 jobs. @AFLCIO— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) April 5, 2019
Skills shortages? Computer systems designs payroll up by 11,500 in March. But the problem is scale. That industry employs 2.18 million; compared to 12.1 million workers in food services, where jobs increased 27,300. @AFLCIO #JobsReport— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) April 5, 2019
Dip in the share of Americans employed in March shows how hard the recovery to more employment has been for Americans. This shows there is still more room for growth. @AFLCIO #JobsReport pic.twitter.com/TVdiYcboQa— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) April 5, 2019
Retail trade employment drops 11,700 in March and over the year is down 35,900 over the year shows effect of reckless private equity firms destabilizing the industry, sluggish consumer spending growth and the internet @AFLCIO #JobsReport— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) April 5, 2019
Last month's biggest job gains were in health care (49,000), professional and technical services (34,000), food services and drinking places (27,000), and construction (16,000). Manufacturing employment declined in March (-6,000 jobs). Employment in other major industries, including mining, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, and government, showed little change over the month.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates fell for teenagers (12.8%) and blacks (6.7%). The jobless rate increased for Hispanics (4.7%). The jobless rate for adult men (3.6%), adult women (3.3%), whites (3.4%) and Asians (3.1%) showed little change in March.
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) rose in March and accounted for 21.1% of the unemployed.