March Employment Report: Fewer Jobs Created, Lower Unemployment Rate
Earlier today the US Department Labor released March employment statistics, which is a closely-followed economic indicator by investors.
The report shows an increase of 120,000 non-farm payrolls, which is significantly lower than the estimated 200,000 new jobs. On the other hand, the unemployment rate fell from 8.3% to 8.2%, which is lower than the estimate of 8.3%.
According to the report, employment was up in manufacturing, food services and drinking places, and health care. Retail trade employment declined in March, which could indicate that the strong employment numbers in the previous months were partially due to temporary hiring in the retail sector.
Average work week in March was 34.5 hours, which is in-line with the street estimates. Also, the average earnings came in in-line with the estimated increase of 0.2%.
Weaker than expected non-farm payroll numbers could hurt the overall markets on Monday. SPDR S&P 500 (NYSE: SPY), SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSE: DIA), and PowerShares QQQ Nasdaq ETF (NASDAQ: QQQ) are ETFs that track performance of the major stock indices in the US.
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