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MNI BRIEF: US March Jobs Meet Expectations; Wage Growth Slows

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The U.S. job market posted another month of solid job gains in March, while wage growth slowed and more people entered the workforce, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday.

Nonfarm payroll employment increased 236,000, just above expectations for a 230,000 gain, while the unemployment rate edged down a tenth to 3.5%. Average hourly earnings growth over the month increased a tenth 0.3%, meeting expectations, and was 4.2% over the year, the slowest since June 2021. The U-6 rate ticked down a tenth to 6.7%.

The labor force participation rate edged up a tenth to 62.6%, the highest since February 2020, and the employment population ratio edged up two tenths over the month to 60.4 percent, also the highest since February 2020. The civilian labor force increased by 480k. The report was largely consistent with market expectations for another quarter point rate hike from the Fed in May.

The Treasury yield curve bear flattened post data, with the short end under pressure resulting in implied rate cuts for the yearend receding while May and June implied hikes gained slightly. (See: MNI INTERVIEW: Fed Not Done Hiking Despite Bank Pain-Cecchetti)

In March, employment continued to trend up in leisure and hospitality (+72k), government (+47), professional and business services (+39k), and health care (+34k). Strong employment gains in February and January were revised marginally lower by 17,000.

Source: BLS

MNI Washington Bureau | +1 202-371-2121 |
MNI Washington Bureau | +1 202-371-2121 |

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