Major Concerns as US Jobs Report Released

Monthly gains were seen in non-store, which includes online and was up by 4,300 jobs from February; miscellaneous stores, up 4,100; furniture, up 2,000; building and garden supplies, up 1,900; and electronics and health/personal care, which were each up 1,700.

Canada gained 32,000 jobs in March, but the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.8 per cent, official data published today said.

Overall, 103,000 jobs were added for the month, far short of analysts' expectations of a 185,000 gain, and well below February's jump of 326,000 new jobs.

The slowdown in hiring was likely to be unwelcome news at the White House, as President Donald Trump presses ahead in a multi-front confrontation with China and other trade partners that has alarmed the business community and Republican Party.

And even though some scoff when economists cite weather as an excuse for poor numbers, it does seem like the cold snap that took place in March had a legitimate impact on the labor market - particularly the construction sector, which lost 15,000 jobs.

The average hourly wage for private sector workers was $26.82 in March, up 2.7% from a year ago.

However, wage growth picked up in March.

"Wage growth continues to inch higher but not enough to worry markets at this point", said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial, according to CNBC.

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Businesses added 241,000 jobs in March, with construction, manufacturing and transportation leading the growth, payroll processor ADP said Wednesday in a separate estimate. Of those, 1.3 million have been out of work 27 weeks or longer.

Edward Daniel, chief executive of Metropolitan Health Services, says he's raised pay and sweetened benefits to try to fill his 740-person company's roughly 80 open jobs. With these revisions, employment gains in January and February combined were 50,000 less than previously reported.

"The principle story as we see it is that despite above trend jobs growth in the main, the unemployment rate has been flat for six months".

"The declaration by Trump that he has instructed the US Trade Representative to consider another $100 billion of tariffs under section 301 has once again sent markets lower, although not as much as previous tariff announcements have", noted Craig Erlam at online trading platform operator Oanda.

The labor force participation rate edged down a tenth of a point to 62.9 percent.

Treasury yields were staging a slight rally, with the 10-year yield hovering near 2.8% and the 2-year yield sitting near 2.28%. Sentiment was already soured by the United States and China renewing their trade spat, stoking fears that the tit-for-tat actions could spiral into a trade war.

The economy appears to have slowed in the first quarter, with gross domestic product growth estimates mostly below a 2 percent annualized rate.

Employment in mining increased by 9,000 in March, with gains occurring in support activities (+6,000) and in oil and gas extraction (+2,000). The durable goods component accounted for about three-fourths of the jobs added, according to the department.

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