The jobs report beat in March, but wage gains slowed

David McNew/GettyCity Hall is seen in the distance as construction workers help carry a huge American flag in a march to the Metropolitan Detention Center during one a several May Day immigration-themed events on May 1, 2014 in Los Angeles, California
  • 196,000 jobs were added in March, the BLS said Friday.
  • That comes after an unexpectedly weak gain of 20,000 nonfarm payrolls a month earlier.
  • Wages rose 3.2% from a year earlier.

Offering the latest snapshot of the American economy, the official employment report out Friday showed hiring rebounded last month and that wage growth eased.

The Bureau of Labour Statistics said the economy added 196,000 nonfarm payrolls in March, bouncing back from gains that were far smaller than expected a month earlier, and that the unemployment rate held steady at 3.8%.

Average hourly earnings rose 3.2% from a year earlier, accelerating at a slightly slower pace than in February.

In February, the US created the fewest jobs since 2017. The nonfarm payroll increase of 33,000 was far below economist expectations and raised concerns that the labour market could be cooling.

Growth is widely expected to slow over the next two years in the US and other major economies. But so far, nonfarm jobs have increased by a solid 180,000 on average over the past three months.

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