US Economy Adds Only 126K Jobs in March


US nonfarm payrolls increased by 126,000 last month after a downwardly revised 264,000 rise in February, the smallest gain since December of 2013. Meanwhile, the jobless rate remained unchanged at 5.5 percent.

Employment continued to trend up in professional and business services, health care, and retail trade, while mining lost jobs.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for January was revised from +239,000 to +201,000, and the change for February was revised from +295,000 to +264,000. With these revisions, employment gains in January and February combined were 69,000 less than previously reported.  Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 197,000 per month.

Employment in professional and business services trended up in March (+40,000). Job growth in the first quarter of 2015 averaged 34,000 per month in this industry, below the average monthly gain of 59,000 in 2014. Within professional and business services, employment continued to trend up in architectural and engineering services (+4,000), computer systems design and related services (+4,000), and management and technical consulting services (+4,000).

Health care continued to add jobs in March (+22,000). Over the year, health care has added 363,000 jobs. In March, job gains occurred in ambulatory health care services (+19,000) and hospitals (+8,000), while nursing care facilities lost jobs (-6,000).

In March, employment in retail trade continued to trend up (+26,000), in line with its prior 12-month average gain. Within retail trade, general merchandise stores added 11,000 jobs in March.

Employment in mining declined by 11,000 in March. The industry has lost 30,000 jobs thus far in 2015, after adding 41,000 jobs in 2014. The employment declines in the first quarter of 2015, as well as the gains in 2014, were concentrated in support activities for mining, which includes support for oil and gas extraction.

Employment in food services and drinking places changed little in March (+9,000), following a large increase in the prior month (+66,000). Job growth in the first quarter of 2015 averaged 33,000 per month, the same as the average monthly gain in 2014.

Employment in other major industries, including construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, and government, showed little change over the month.


US Economy Adds Only 126K Jobs in March


Anna Fedec | anna@tradingeconomics.com
4/3/2015 1:39:56 PM