Friday , May 24 2024
Temecula Adds Jobs
Temecula Adds Jobs

U.S. job growth slows

U.S. economy added 98,000 jobs March, well below the 200,000 that were added in January and again in February, according to data released Friday.

At the same time, the national jobless rate fell to 4.5 percent, its lowest point in nearly 10 years, while wages continued to grow, the U.S. Department of Labor announced.

A snowstorm in the Northeast, which might have reduced construction hiring by as many as 60,000 jobs, is one reason there weren’t as many jobs added in March as there were during the first two months of the year, one local economist said.

“My jaw hit the floor when I saw that number,” said Jay Prag,  professor of economics and finance at the Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University. “It was way below what I expected, but it’s still just one month. You can’t put too much stock in any one report.”

Another piece of bad news in the report  – 30,000 retail jobs cut, on top of 31,000 that were lost in February – was not unexpected.

“That’s just a sign of how the retail industry is changing,” Prag said of the largest two-month decline in that sector since 2009. “It was not a surprise at all. We’re going to have to find jobs for those people in other sectors.”

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