Payroll employment increased by 88,000 jobs in March, well below the average pace seen the last 8 months. February was revised up to 268,000 jobs, an increase of 32,000 from the initial report. January’s numbers were revised up as well to 148,000 jobs. Despite the slow payroll employment increase in March, the unemployment rate dropped to 7.6%. However, the decrease is largely due to falling labor force participation rates, as opposed to new job creation.
Although job creation continues to be driven primarily by the service sector, March’s gain of 72,000 jobs is well below the 195,000 jobs added the previous month. The goods producing sector added 16,000 jobs, its lowest increase since October 2012. The public sector saw a decline of 7,000 jobs,as the U.S. Postal Service cut 12,000 jobs. Construction added 18,000 jobs in March, a 31,000 drop from the previous month, but still indicates a rebounding housing market.
“The continued increase to construction payrolls in January, February and March signals that the U.S. housing market is transitioning into a sustainable recovery,” said ABA’s Chief Economist Jim Chessen.
The unemployment rate dropped 0.1% in March and the labor force participation rate declined 0.2% to 63.3%.
Read the BLS report.