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Employment Growth Slowed in March

The labor market may finally be softening, according to jobs numbers released today, The Washington Examiner reports.

What’s going on: The U.S. economy added 236,000 jobs in March, short of expectations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In manufacturing, employment edged down by 1,000.

  • Overall unemployment has reached a historically low 3.5%.  

Why it’s important: “A weaker jobs report indicates that the Fed’s rate hikes are beginning to work and could cause the central bank to lean toward a more dovish monetary stance.”

  • March’s numbers follow several months of strong job gains.
  • Jobs have so far proved resilient to inflation, but this latest report “raises fears that a recession is right around the corner.”

Manufacturing wages: Average hourly earnings of production and nonsupervisory employees in manufacturing rose to $25.91 in March from $25.78 in February, with 4.7% growth in the past year.

Benefits and openings: Adding to indications of a softer labor market is last week’s number of new applications for unemployment benefits.

  • At 228,000, the figure was much higher than recently reported numbers.
  • February recorded about 9.9 million job openings across all sectors, the first time in almost two years the number dipped below 10 million.
  • In manufacturing, February saw 694,000 manufacturing job openings, down from a revised 732,000 in January, according to Job Openings and Labor Turnover data released Tuesday.
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