A healthy 236,000 new jobs were created by American firms in March, indicating that the economy is still on solid ground, although the nine interest rate increases the Federal Reserve has imposed over the last year to rein in inflation.
Only 0.5% higher than the 53-year low of 3.4% reached in January, the jobless rate dropped to 3.5%.
Nonetheless, some information in Friday’s Labor Department data suggested that inflationary pressures might be subsiding and that the Fed might soon decide to stop raising interest rates.
The annual growth in average hourly salaries was 4.2%, a dramatic decline from the 4.6% gain in February.
Wages increased by 0.3% from February to March, up somewhat from the modest 0.2% increase from January to February when measured monthly. It decreased from the average wage growth in the last quarter of 2022.
The brisk 326,000 jobs added in February were moderated by the 20,000 jobs added last month.
The report released today is “just right,” according to Glassdoor’s head economist Daniel Zhao.
It’s challenging to imagine how it could have been done better. Although the job market is cooling, it is still robust, as we can see.
Another encouraging clue for the Fed’s anti-inflationists is that 480,000 Americans started looking for jobs in March.
Employers typically feel less pressure the more job searchers there are available.
The labor force participation rate, often known as the employment-to-population ratio, rose to 62.6% in March, the highest level in three years.
Moreover, the percentage of Americans who are working age or between the ages of 25 and 54 increased to 80.7%, the highest level since 2001.
The majority of Americans, according to Zhao, are finding employment.
The government also decreased its estimate of job growth in January and February by a combined 17,000 in its report on Friday.
Sinem Buber, an economist at the employment agency ZipRecruiter, stated that “the labor market continues to soften.” That ought to lessen inflationary pressures in the upcoming months and boost the Federal Reserve’s confidence in the forecast for inflation.
The leisure and hospitality sector generated 72,000 new jobs in the past month, the most. The restaurant and bar industry saw a rise of 50,000 among those in that sector.
Healthcare organizations added 34,000, while state and local governments added 39,000. Nonetheless, 9,000 jobs were lost by construction companies, the first loss in that industry since January 2022.
In addition, factories marginally cut payrolls for a second consecutive month, indicating a slowdown in American manufacturing.
Although unemployment rates for persons of color continue to be higher than for white Americans, Black workers’ unemployment rates dropped to 5% this month, the lowest level recorded by the government since records began in 1972.
Several firms still have trouble filling vacancies since job growth is robust.
In the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Clark Twiddy said his family’s business, which helps landowners rent out their properties to tourists, still deals with “the tightest job market of anyone’s lifetime.”
Twiddy & Co. has increased entry-level wages for seasonal employees, whom it recruits 500 to 600 times yearly, from $13 to $14 an hour in 2019 to $18 to $20.
Because the most outstanding employees have plenty of job possibilities elsewhere, service businesses like his, according to Twiddy, must treat their staff with the same respect as they do their clients.
He said there isn’t an algorithm that can clean up a kitchen or a bathroom. “Our costs have increased.
More practice is required. We must exert more significant effort.