The United States economy and the jobs market both took a hit in February when the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released their monthly update
. At the time, only 20,000 new jobs were created, an 18-month low.
From these results, fears grew that the U.S. economy was headed towards a long-expected decline. For this reason, industry analysts and economists were eagerly anticipating the results for the March 2019 Jobs Report
to see if the downward trend continued.
On April 5th
, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the long-awaited results. Let’s take a closer look!
Did Job Creation Improve or Worsen in March?
Given the poor results for the job market in February, many were looking to the March results to get a better idea of how the economy is doing – and the results were extremely positive.
There were 196,000 jobs created in March
, exceeding expectations of around 170,000 that many analysts predicted. This is clearly a great outcome after such a disappointing February.
In addition, the Bureau of Labor Statistics made upward revisions for job creation for the last two months – February’s total increased from 20,000 to 33,000
while January added an additional 1,000 jobs, bringing the total to 312,000.
With these results, many industry analysts believe February to be more of an outlier than a concerning trend.
Wage Growth Decreases from February
One of the positive results from February was that wage growth was 3.4% year-over-year, up from 3.2% in January
. This number has been closely monitored and analyzed all through 2018 due to the relatively low increases despite high demand for talent.
March saw wage gains fall back once again to 3.2% year-over-year, or a .14% increase for the month. Expectations were that wage growth would remain the same at 3.4%, so this wasn’t exactly what analysts were hoping for.
It is still expected that wage growth will eventually rise more consistently as employers struggle with hiring and retaining talent
Did Unemployment in March Increase or Decrease?
February saw unemployment lower to 3.8%, which was expected after the end of the government shutdown. But how did things fare in March?
The report showed that unemployment remained the same at 3.8% (meeting analyst expectations), which is still a near-50 year low.
Additionally, the broader gauge of unemployment that included discouraged workers and those with part-time jobs who want full-time jobs (often called the “real unemployment rate”) also remained unchanged at 7.3%.
After a Poor Jobs Report in February, a March Rebound is a Positive Outcome
The state of the United States job market (and the economy) was in question after the poor in the February Jobs Report. For this reason, there was a lot of anticipation for the March numbers to see if the economy was actually heading in a negative direction.
But the results show that the economy rebounded nicely and is still in a position to post positive numbers as we move through 2019.
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