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Thomas unemployment rate falls to 6% in March

20 April 2017

Temporary help was a bright spot within a monthly employment report that mostly underwhelmed, showing a gain above its trailing-12-month average and continuing to accelerate on a year-over-year basis.

The teenage jobless rate fell to 13.7 percent, the lowest level since May 2001.

The unemployment rate dropped to 4.5 percent - down from 4.7 percent in February.

After President Donald Trump boasted about a hefty jobs report in February, the jobs report for March, which was released Friday, had mixed and somewhat disappointing results. ― Reuters picWASHINGTON, April 7 ― The US unemployment rate fell in March to 4.5 per cent, its lowest level in almost 10 years, but job creation tumbled unexpectedly, government data showed today.

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The Labor Department revised down the payroll gains in January and February by 38,000. And a snowstorm that slammed into the Midwest and East Coast in mid-March likely further curtailed job growth, says economist Jim O'Sullivan of High Frequency Economics. It was barely half the previous month's gain and a potential sign of weakening growth.

While the bigger establishment survey showed fewer jobs created last month, the smaller and more volatile survey of households showed employment increased 472,000.

"After the unseasonably warm January and February, which pushed monthly job gains back above 200,000, there was always going to be some pay back in March, when the weather snapped back to seasonal norms, including some heavy snowstorms", wrote Paul Ashworth, chief US economist for Capital Economics.

Professional and business services was the fastest-growing employment sector in March, gaining 56,000 jobs, according to the report. The pace of job growth was sharply down from an average of almost 218,000 in the first two months of the year.

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A broader measure of unemployment, which takes into account those who have given up looking for a job and those who are working part-time but want more hours, also declined, falling to 8.9 percent from 9.2 percent in February and 9.8 percent a year ago. Retail shed 30,000 jobs, after declining by 26,000 jobs in February.

Hiring accelerated during the first two months of 2017.

Average hourly earnings increased 5 cents or 0.2 percent in March after rising 0.3 percent in February.

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Thomas unemployment rate falls to 6% in March