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U.S. hiring slows in March, but job market still looks healthy

U.S. hiring slows in March, but job market still looks healthy

As for March's jobs report, economists are expecting around 190,000 jobs to have been added, down from February's surprisingly robust 313,000 additions.

"The principle story as we see it is that despite above trend jobs growth in the main, the unemployment rate has been flat for six months".

March's job growth was below the 202,000 average of the past three months and matched to the roughly 100,000 jobs per month needed to keep up with growth in the working-age population.

The March jobs report missed expectations big time, with just 103,000 new jobs added, versus expectations of around 190,000 additions.

This includes raising the minimum wage to $14 an hour on January 1, ensuring part-time workers are paid the same hourly wage as full-time workers, introducing paid sick days for every worker, and enabling at least three weeks' vacation after five years with the same employer.

But in the context of self-congratulations for his recent decision to impose tariffs on aluminum imports, President Donald Trump tweeted Friday that 'Lots of money [is] coming into USA coffers and Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!'

Economists had predicted 185,000 jobs.

A separate government report last month showed there was almost one open job for every unemployed person, the lowest ratio on records dating back two decades.

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Employment in Ontario increased by 10,600 jobs in March and the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.5 per cent, the lowest it has been since July 2000.

"Across the board, hiring is a challenge", Daniel said.

"This morning's figures may suggest a little less momentum heading into the second quarter, but taken with other data, the continued expansion in total hours worked points to a modest acceleration in activity this quarter, provided we manage to avoid shooting ourselves in the foot on trade policy", said Michael Feroli, an economist at JPMorgan in NY. By June of next year, it plans to pay half its employees' educational costs. But retail businesses shed 4,000 jobs and construction companies lost 15,000 workers after going on a hiring spree in February.

By industry, the largest gains were seen in education and health services as well as professional and business services, the two areas that are most often leaders in terms of monthly job gains.

The civilian labor force participation rate fell 0.1 percentage point to 62.9%.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Friday that such measures "suggest a labor market that is in the neighborhood of maximum employment", meaning that few workers are still on the sidelines and a further decline in the unemployment rate could raise inflation.

The Dow, which prior to the release had been expected to open at around 24,242, is now tipped to start proceedings at around 24,293, presumably on the basis that the Fed will now slow down its interest rate hike program.

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