Following a slowdown in February, hiring in the United States rebounded in March, when non-farm payrolls rose by a seasonally adjusted 196,000 jobs. That figure exceeded a 175,000 increase from a survey of economists, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former Congressional Budget Office director, said that “the March report should put to rest the notion that the economy is doomed to falter in 2019.” He continued, “One cannot expect a repeat of 2018 as the economy moves toward trend, but 2019 has started solidly.”
At the same time, the rate of unemployment stayed at 3.8 percent. (Last autumn, a 49-year low of 3.7 was attained.) Private-sector workers’ average hourly wages increased 3.2 percent from the prior year. While that figure marked a strong rise, it was less than the gain of 3.4 percent seen in February, which the paper called “the best since the recession ended in 2009.”
Employers also brought on an average of 180,000 positions to their payrolls for each of the first three months of 2019. By contrast, an average of 223,000 jobs were added monthly during the year prior. The latest figure, however, is almost the same as the 179,000 averaged in 2017, and job growth for the two past months was revised upwards by 14,000.
The news comes after it was reported in March that companies added roughly 20,000 jobs in the United States the month prior, which fell far short of the expected 181,000 positions. At the same time, it was reported that the unemployment rate remained steady at 3.8 percent. January and December job additions were upwardly revised to 304,000 and 227,000 positions, respectively.
The job growth was seen even amid a seemingly shrinking pool of applicants. It reported at the time that the portion of Americans between the ages of 25 to 54 who are employed stands at 80 percent, a level not seen prior to the recession.