United States job growth slowed sharply in March

March Jobs Report: Everything You Need to Know

Employers added 103,000 positions to the USA workforce in March, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday - the smallest workforce increase since last fall.

Analysts said the cold weather may have contributed to the slowdown, which was anticipated to some degree after February's blockbuster gains.

But the unemployment rate remained 4.1 percent, a 17-year low, the government said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.

This includes raising the minimum wage to $14 an hour on January 1, ensuring part-time workers are paid the same hourly wage as full-time workers, introducing paid sick days for every worker, and enabling at least three weeks' vacation after five years with the same employer. Economists expected average hourly earnings to rise 0.3% over the prior month and 2.7% over the prior year.

Wage gains went up only slightly last month even though businesses are finding it increasingly harder to attract qualified workers and more people are leaving their jobs voluntarily.




The economy appears to have slowed in the first quarter, with gross domestic product growth estimates mostly below a 2 per cent annualised rate. Average hourly pay ticked up, climbing 2.7 percent compared with a year earlier.

American manufacturers, meanwhile, kept adding a healthy number of jobs last month.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Friday that such measures "suggest a labor market that is in the neighborhood of maximum employment", meaning that few workers are still on the sidelines and a further decline in the unemployment rate could raise inflation.

"In previous expansions, wages were growing by 4 percent annualized", he said. That runs counter to economists' expectation for hiring to broadly ease as the labor market tightens.

That mainly took place in the final days of the month, however. Unless the issues get resolved quickly, we may be seeing a stasis in job creation that could hamper the positive impact of the administration's other economic policies, especially the tax cuts.

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