Job gains were strong again in March (stop me if you’ve heard this before).  The U.S. labor market added 303k jobs in March, exceeding expectations for 214k jobs. The unemployment rate fell to 3.8%. Revisions to January and February data were marginally positive, adding 22k jobs to total employment collectively. Average hourly earnings increased 0.3%, right around the target level to achieve a 2% annualized inflation rate. The workweek ticked up by 0.1 hours. Overall, the labor market picture remains positive and, as a result, expectations for interest rate cuts from the Federal Reserve have been reduced a little.

·         303K jobs added in March –  Above expectations; January & February revisions were mildly positive.  The U.S. labor market added 303K jobs in March, up from +270K in February.  Forecasts ranged from +145K to +290K with a median of +214K.  Hiring was more pronounced in health care (+72K), government (+71k), and leisure & hospitality (+49K).

·        3.8% unemployment – down from 3.9%.  The U.S. unemployment rate fell 0.1% to 3.8% in March.  Forecasts ranged from 3.6% to 3.9% with a median of 3.8%.  This marks the 26th consecutive month below 4% as unemployment has ranged from 3.4% to 4.0% since the end of 2021.  The labor force participation rate rose to 0.2% to 62.7%.  Year-over-year, wage growth increased 4.1% decelerating modestly from 4.3% in the month prior.  Month-over-month, wages increased 0.3% compared to +0.1% in February and matched expectations.