The jobs report was a big miss.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economy added 126,000 jobs in March, way less than the expected gain of 245,000 jobs.
This ends the 12-month streak of payroll gains over 200,000 and is the lowest number of monthly job gains since December 2013.
The unemployment rate held steady at 5.5% in March.
Wage growth, however, was better than expected, with earnings rising 0.3% month-on-month in March and rising 2.1% against the prior year.
The report showed that jobs gains continued to trend up in most industries, though jobs in the mining sector — which included oil-related jobs — saw a decline of 11,000 jobs in March. This sector has lost 30,000 jobs this year after adding 41,000 jobs in 2014.
Payroll gains in January and February were also revised lower, with February’s gains falling to 264,000 from 295,000 and January’s additions falling to 201,000 from 239,000.
Over the past three months, job gains have averaged 197,000 per month.
Via Bloomberg, here’s a quick overview of what Wall Street was looking for:
- Nonfarm payrolls: +245,000
- Unemployment rate: 5.5%
- Average hourly earnings, month-on-month: +0.2%
- Average hourly earnings, year-on-year: +2.0%
- Average weekly hours worked: 34.6
Among other Wall Street economists, Deutsche Bank’s Joe LaVorgna expects payroll gains of 225,000 and Jim O’ Sullivan at High Frequency Economics expects payroll gains of 245,000.
The key part of the report, however, will be wages, as a lack of meaningful wage growth has been the missing piece of the labour market recovery.
We’ll have complete coverage and complete reaction LIVE when the numbers drop.