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U.S. job growth cools

Friday, April 07, 2017 - 01:18

U.S. job growth slowed sharply in March, but a drop in the unemployment rate to a near ten-year low suggested the labor market was still tightening. Fred Katayama reports.

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Job growth slowed sharply in the U.S. in March. The Labor Department said nonfarm payrolls added only 98,000 jobs last month, the fewest since last May That's a sharp slowdown from January and February which each added more than 200,000 jobs. Behind the drop - layoffs in the retail sector and a slowdown in hiring at construction sites, factories, and leisure and hospitality businesses. Also to blame - cold weather and a storm in the Northeast. Bankrate.com's senior economic analyst Mark Hamrick. (SOUNDBITE) MARK HAMRICK, SENIOR ECONOMIC ANALYST, BANKRATE, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "While this was a disappointing hiring number, we believe that we should continue to see a similar pace of hiring in the coming months. And, I think, we can probably chock this down to perhaps some catchup in the sense that we saw stronger than expected reports in the first two months of the year and now a weaker than expected report. The average that it'll allow looks a lot like the trend over the course of 2016." Average hourly earnings also grew at a gradual rate of 2.7 percent. Another set of data showed the unemployment rate dipped to 4.5 percent in March from 4.7 percent in February. That's the lowest level since 2007.

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U.S. job growth cools

Friday, April 07, 2017 - 01:18