06/26/2022

U.S. Job Growth Slowed in March; Unemployment Rate Held at 4.1%

Hiring slowed in March from February’s robust pace and the unemployment rate held at a 17-year low, consistent with a tight but not overheating labor market producing modest wage gains.

U.S. nonfarm payrolls rose a seasonally adjusted 103,000 in March—the smallest gain in six months, the Labor Department said Friday. It was a pullback from February’s outsized gain of 326,000, after revisions, the strongest monthly performance since 2015.

The unemployment rate, a seasonally adjusted 4.1%, remained at the lowest level since December 2000 for the sixth straight month.

. . . Average hourly earnings for all private-sector workers rose 2.7% from a year earlier in March—in line with annual gains in recent months. Those raises have been skewing toward managers. The annual gain in wages for nonsupervisors was 2.4%, a pace that has held steady since December.

. . .The share of American adults working or looking for a job fell by 0.1 percentage point to 62.9% in March. That rate is up from a recent low of 62.3% in 2015, but still near the smallest share of adults participating since the late 1970s, a time when women were still entering the workforce in greater numbers.

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