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US non-farm payrolls miss forecasts but unemployment rate drops, Labor Department reveals

Friday, April 7, 2017 5:57
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(Before It's News)

US employers added far less jobs than expected last month as a decline in the retail sector offset gains in mining and professional services, data showed today.

Non-farm payrolls rose 98,000, well below analysts’ expectations for an 180,000 increase, according to the Labor Department.

February’s growth was also revised down to 219,000 from 235,000 previously.

More positively, the unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 4.5% last month from 4.7%.

Retail trade lost 30,000 jobs last month while employment in professional and business services rose by 56,000. Mining added 11,000 jobs in March and the healthcare sector continued to grow with 14,000 extra jobs.

Average hourly earnings rose 2.7% in March compared to the same month a year ago, in line with market forecasts but marking a slowdown from the previous month’s 2.8% year-on-year growth.

On the month,, hourly earnings growth was unchanged at 0.2%, also as expected.

The labour force participation rate, a measure of the number of people who are either employed or are actively looking for work, remained at 63% last month.

“With interest rates hiked last month, and President Trump’s pledges to put jobs at the heart of his presidency, March’s drop in non-farm payroll will bring both surprise and concern, especially with price growth on the rise,” said Dennis de Jong, managing director at

“Uninterrupted jobs growth since last August, combined with rising inflation and accelerating wages, contributed to the rate increase at the most recent Fed meeting. 

“The Fed has forecast two more rises in 2017, and while this will please savers, Trump will likely have to deal with the political fallout as consumers begin to feel the pinch.”

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 25 basis points last month, citing a healthy economy and falling unemployment. 

Story by ProactiveInvestors


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