Canada: A Blasé March Jobs Report

The U.S. economy added 196,000 jobs in March while the unemployment rate remained steady at 3.8 percent, making March the 102nd straight month of job growth, according to Department of Labor data released Friday.

The declines were tempered by a 21,300 increase in jobs in professional and scientific services, while the accommodation and food sector added 16,900 jobs.

However, the Labour Participation Rate also increased from 62.1 per cent in February to 62.9 per cent in March, a sign that more people were looking for work.

By comparison, the year-over-year gain in February was 3.4 percent.

"Today's report suggests that the labor market remains healthy, which should ease recession concerns and curb expectations of a Fed rate cut for the moment", he said.

Last week's applications for unemployment benefits came in at 202,000, the lowest level in almost 50 years. With a big decline also reported in January, it has lost an average of 9,500 jobs over the last three months.

The services-producing sector saw employment decrease by 8,800 in March, while jobs in the goods-producing increased by 1,600. Physicians' offices boosted their numbers by 7,000 jobs, up 126% over the prior month, and dentists' offices added 5,100 jobs, up 96%. Jobs numbers com e from a survey of employers.

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Overall, healthcare employment has increased by 398,000 jobs in the last 12 months, according to the bureau. Employment continued to trend up in architectural and engineering services (+6,000) and in management and technical consulting services (+6,000).

The BoC is widely anticipated to leave rates unchanged at 1.75%, where they have been since October 2018, at its upcoming policy meeting on April 24.

In other areas, the employment picture was little changed from the month before.

Job growth in the USA has averaged 180,000 new positions a month so far this year, which is a healthy number but below last year's monthly average of 223,000.

Notably, for the mortgage and real estate industries, employment in the construction sector - including residential-home construction - rose after a February decline.

Many experts had expected the surprise job-creation surge at the start of the year to lose momentum.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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