Job growth slowing, but workers are benefiting from it

Apr 08, 2018, 00:57
Job growth slowing, but workers are benefiting from it

'The Fed will be primarily focused on the increase in average hourly earnings, ' said Paul Ashworth, chief USA economist at Capital Economics in Toronto.

"The question that looms large now is how trade talks will impact hiring in the second quarter", he said in a note warning of the economy "now entering a treacherous phase". Manufacturing employment rose by 22,000 jobs in March, and the economy has added 263,000 manufacturing jobs since President Trump took office after experiencing a net job loss of 1,000 jobs per month in the past year of the Obama Administration. By June of next year, it plans to pay half its employees' educational costs.

Some of the drop-off in hiring for March likely was weather-related, with late spring snowstorms blanketing the Northeast, closing construction sites and potentially postponing shopping trips for spring clothes.

Construction shed 15,000 jobs and retail trade employment dipped by 4,000.

Jobs were not added across the board, as they were in previous months. "The (Republican) tax cuts many believed would add fresh firepower to business may yield little if CEOs and consumers become increasingly alarmed about the path of US trade policy and the potential impact that could have on an aging expansion". The economy needs to create roughly 100,000 jobs per month to keep up with growth in the working-age population. But its durability has been broadly beneficial.

The proportion of adults in their prime working years - defined as ages 25 to 54 - who are either working or looking for jobs reached the highest level in almost seven years in February, before declining last month.

An increasing need to compete for workers also might finally be lifting wages in some sectors.

Areas that saw job gains included manufacturing, health care and mining, the government report said. In March, the Fed announced to raised interest rate to a range of 1.5 percent to 1.75 percent, marking the sixth time since the financial crisis that it has raised rates. "If anything, the wage data are beginning to strengthen the argument for three more hikes this year".

The economy grew at a 2.9 per cent pace in the fourth quarter.

Businesses have stepped up their spending on manufactured goods, helping lift factory output.

A broader measure of unemployment, which includes people who want to work but have given up searching and those working part time because they can not find full-time employment, fell two-tenths of a percentage point to 8.0 percent last month.

Amongst the indicators that showed signs of positivity were the consumer spending index, which hit a 3-year high as well as business investment, which again multiplied.