Investing.com – The U.S monthly employment report showed that the economy created much fewer jobs than forecast in March, but the unemployment rate still unexpectedly fell, according to official data released on Friday.
Non-farm payrolls (NFP) rose just 98,000 in March, compared to the rise of 219,000 a month earlier that was revised from the initial increase of 235,000. The data missed the consensus estimate for the creation of 180,000 jobs.
On a positive note, the jobless rate unexpectedly dropped to 4.5%, from the prior 4.7%. Analysts had expected no change.
Average hourly earnings rose month-on-month by 0.2%, compared to the prior increase of 0.3%, which was revised from a 0.2% advance. The reading was in line with consensus.
On an annualized basis, wages grew 2.7%.
The increase in wages is being closely monitored by the Federal Reserve for evidence of diminishing slack in the labor market and upward pressure on inflation.
Additionally, the private sector created fewer of the new job contracts than expected in March with a total of 89,000, compared to consensus expectations for 175,000. February’s number was revised down to 221,000 private nonfarm payrolls, from the prior reading of 227,000.
Government payrolls increased by 9,000 last month, compared to the destruction of 2,000 public jobs created in February, revised from an initial gain of 8,000 positions.
The participation rate remained unchanged at 63.0% in March.
The U6 unemployment rate, that includes those workers who are working part-time for purely economic reasons, decreased to 8.9% last month from February’s reading of 9.2%.
Furthermore, the average weekly hours remained unchanged at 34.3 in March after a downward revision to the previous month’s data. Analysts had forecast the number to remain unchanged from February’s initial reading of 34.4.
Immediately after the release, the U.S. Dollar Index traded at 100.53, compared to 100.70 earlier. EUR/USD traded at 1.0642, from 1.0633 before the release, USD/JPY traded at 110.38, from 110.65 earlier, and GBP/USD was at 1.2440, compared to the previous 1.2423.
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