Economists are keenly awaiting the monthly employment report by the US Labor Department to understand which way the employment situation is moving. Many economists have predicted a gain of around 175,000 jobs and an unemployment rate of approximately 4.7% for the month of March.
The Labor market had a steady start in 2017 with 236,500 jobs added by employers in the first two months of the year. That impressive pace is tough to maintain down the coming months. March figures are being watched closely because this could be the payback month.
The most impressive performance was delivered by the construction sector which added 58,000 jobs – the best in a decade, thanks to the unusually warmer weather which generally allow projects to start sooner. March could slow down employment as the weather starts to stabilize. The federal hiring freeze announced by President Donald Trump towards the end of January could also impact March figures, say some experts.
Economists have voiced concern over the decline in the labor-force participation rate. The figures are alarming among the 25 to 54 years old workers – the ones in their prime working years. There is a need to generate jobs in good numbers to keep this group of workers occupied and employed.