Each day the Research staff takes a look at recently released economic indicators, addressing what these indicators mean for REALTORS® and their clients. Today’s update discusses March payroll job data.
- Nonfarm payrolls rose by 120,000 in March, below the pace that economists had anticipated. During the past 12 months, the number of jobs has increased by 1.9 million.
- Manufacturing employment increased by 37,000 jobs on the strength in auto manufacturing. Since reaching a low-point in January 2010, factory jobs have increased by 470,000. There were gains in healthcare and professional services as well.
- Retail employment tumbled by 34,000. Not surprisingly, consumers are feeling the pinch of higher gas prices and are cautious about spending.
- Construction jobs fell for the second month, down by 7,000. Overall, construction employment has been flat for nearly 2 years.
- The unemployment rate fell to 8.2%, down one notch from 8.3% in February. There are currently 12.7 million unemployed, of which 5.3 million have been out of work for at least 6 months.
- Although the March jobs numbers are somewhat disappointing, data released earlier this week show that the number of initial unemployment claims continues to fall, which is necessary if the job market is to continue recovering. For this reason, the March employment data may represent a temporary pause and not a change in direction.