The U.S. job market continues to show impressive growth and a new report today from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the U.S. economy added 215,000 new jobs in March, beating a forecast of 200,000 from briefing.com.
The unemployment rate rose slightly to 5.0 percent in March from 4.9 percent in February.
The largest March employment gains were seen in the retail sector which added 48,000 jobs followed by the healthcare and construction sectors which both posted increases of 37,000.
Employment in manufacturing fell by 29,000 in March.
The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.4 hours in March while average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 7 cents to $25.43.
Average hourly earnings have risen by 2.3 percent over the year.
The labor force participation rate remained at 63.0 percent in March which is up 0.6 percent from September.
Job revisions for January and February were revised lower by 1,ooo.
The January non-farm payroll report was revised from 172,000 to 168,000 while February’s employment report was revised from 242,000 to 245,000.
The U.S. labor market has shown resiliency in recent months with non-farm payroll job growth now averaging 209,000 jobs over the past 3 months.
On Wednesday private payroll processor ADP reported that 200,000 private sector jobs were added to the U.S. economy in March.
Some of the other strong economic data reports that should give Committee members at the Federal Reserve confidence that the U.S. economy is moving in the right direction ahead of their next policy meeting in mid-April includes a strong consumer confidence report for March that beat estimates, pending home sales for February that rose 3.5 percent compared to a 1.3 percent briefing.com forecast, Core PCE inflation that was at 1.7 percent in February on an annualized basis, and a 3rd estimate of U.S. GDP in the 4th quarter of 2015 that revealed the U.S. economy grew at a pace of 1.4 percent.
Although concerns persist about global growth in places such as China and Europe, central banks in both locations have remained accommodative to help economic growth to improve.