The March employment report, out this morning from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, was the most disappointing in a while. The economy added just 98,000 jobs for the month, well down from February’s revised job gains of 219,000.
The good news was that the unemployment rate dropped to 4.5 percent, a new post-recession low and the lowest since May 2007. Wages also rose, increasing by 0.2 percent over last month and a total of 2.7 percent over the prior year.
Today’s report also saw both the January and February jobs numbers revised down by a combined 38,000. Over the past three months, job gains have now averaged 178,000.