Monday, April 9, 2018

Why Did Jobs Slow Down?

After Friday’s jobs report showed weaker-than-expected job growth in March, economists have been scrambling to find an explanation. U.S. nonfarm payrolls rose by 103,000 in March, a sharp slowdown from the prior month’s gain of 326,000, the Labor Department said Friday.

Some economists pointed to March’s inclement weather, citing pullback in industries that are easily affected by snowstorms and freezing temperatures. Employment in construction rose robustly by 65,000 in February, but fell by 15,000 in March. Similarly, the retail trade industry lost more than 4,000 jobs after gaining a solid 47,000 in February.

But other analysts said the weaker number in March was bound to happen simply because of February’s strong jobs growth figure. After the unusually and unsustainably robust February gains, the March weakness may just represent an unavoidable hangover.

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