The jobs report for March was released on Friday — and it was a big disappointment. What were the important numbers from the report and what implications does it have for the economy going forward?
Here are five things you need to know about the March economic report.
1. There were 98,000 nonfarm payroll jobs created in March, well below expectations. Economists expected March job growth to be at 180,000 jobs; the March ADP National Employment Report estimated there would be 263,000 private sector jobs created in March. Needless to say, those estimates were way off.
Ed Morrissey noted at Hot Air that the 98,000 number “isn’t even a maintenance level of job creation in relation to population growth, which requires between 135K-150K jobs added each month.” He also pointed out that that the bulk of job losses came from the retail sector, which Morrissey found to be odd since “consumer confidence hit a new high in March, part of an upward trend that started in … October 2016.”
“We’ll get the 2017 Q1 GDP report at the end of the month, but the trend on personal consumption expenditures was good for the last three quarters of 2016, finishing with a 3.5% annualized quarter-on-quarter increase in Q4,” wrote Morrissey. “Some big-box chains are struggling at the moment — JC Penney, Sears among them — so perhaps it’s more of an adjustment within the sector.”
2. The unemployment rate went down; the labor participation rate remained the same. The U-3 unemployment rate declined from 4.7 percent to 4.5 percent while the U-6 unemployment rate fell to 8.9 percent, which is close to the U-6 unemployment rate of 8.8 percent in December 2007. The labor participation rate remained unchanged at 63 percent; the employment-to-population ratio ticked up from 60 percent to 60.1 percent.
This is worth noting:
The share of workers who aren’t in the labor force who are finding jobs is rising but isn’t near the highs of the last two cycles. pic.twitter.com/qJAMH9M1Xm
— Nick Timiraos (@NickTimiraos) April 7, 2017