Tuesday, 23 April, 2019

US unemployment steady at 3.8pc

Employees at a board meeting. GETTY IMAGES  Hero Images Employees at a board meeting. GETTY IMAGES Hero Images
Russell Knight | 07 April, 2019, 17:54

The loss followed the gain of 55,900 jobs in February and 66,800 in January.

Job growth in the USA has averaged 180,000 new positions a month so far this year, which is a healthy number but below last year's monthly average of 223,000.

By comparison, the year-over-year gain in February was 3.4 percent. January was revised up by 1,000 jobs to 312,000.

The labor force also shrank as more than 220,000 people stopped looking for work, driving the participation rate down 0.2 percent to 63 percent - a level around which it has stubbornly fluctuated for much of the past two years. Over the month, employment increased in ambulatory health care services (+27,000), hospitals (+14,000), and nursing and residential care facilities (+9,000).

Health care added 49,000 jobs in March and 398,000 over the past 12 months.

Statistics Canada gauges that 6,900 more people have jobs now in Brantford, compared to figures from six months ago.

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Nationally, the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.8 per cent in March. And since March 2018, the sector has added more than 11,000 jobs.

Statistics Canada said employment declined in healthcare and social assistance; in business, building and other support services; and in accommodation and food services.

Wages continued to climb, albeit at a slower pace than in February.

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed at 4.5 million in March.

The labour market continues to improve in one respect: annual hourly wage gains accelerated to 2.4 per cent in March, the fastest annual gain since September, up from 2.3 per cent in February.

Chances of an interest rate cut this year from the central bank nudged only slightly higher to 43 per cent from 38 per cent before the data, the overnight index swaps market indicated. The three-month average monthly gain dropped to 180,000, a 15-month low.

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