US unemployment drops to 4.5%, lowest in decade

March's job gains were driven by professional business services (56,000), food and drinking places (21,700), health care (14,000), mining (11,000), and manufacturing (11,000).

More than 60,000 retail jobs have disappeared in the last two months, according to Labor Department data released Friday, adding another data point to the ongoing troubles in a pillar of the United States economy.

It's also dramatically lower than the 235,000 new jobs that were reported in February, the first month of Trump's presidency.

The number of people working and the unemployment rate are determined based on a survey of households, while the job-creation figures are calculated from payroll records provided by employers. This number declined by 151,000 over the month. That lowered the number of unemployed and cut the unemployment rate. That lowered the year-on-year gain in wages to 2.7 percent.

The jobs report looked strong even beyond the headline, with gains largely in full-time work and both manufacturing and construction adding employment. But those orders slipped in February and remain below levels of a year ago.

To close it out, almost half a million Americans reported finding jobs to the Labor Department. The decline was driven entirely by more workers finding employment while the participation rate held steady, according to Wells Fargo Securities.

Among the marginally attached, there were 460,000 discouraged workers in March, down by 125,000 from a year earlier.

The big story of the March jobs report, though, is that the U.S. economy is approaching the point at which a large share of people who want a job are able to get one. Bloomberg's consensus was 170,000 for March, and February's initial view of 227,000 was revised down to 221,000.

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Trucking firms slowed their roll in March, adding half as many jobs as they did in February.

Most of the wage gains are going to supervisors. That is the lowest teenage unemployment rate since 2001.

The March unemployment rate for all veterans was unchanged at 3.9 percent and decreased slightly among nonveterans to 4.4 percent.

Economists think harsh winter weather might have had an impact on job growth this time around.

Total employment was up 19,000 in March.

"The 19K net job creation in March was almost driven by full time gains", he noted. Retailers including J.C. Penney and Macy's have announced thousands of layoffs as they shift toward online sales and scale back on brick-and-mortar operations.

Last month's overall employment increase, which included 18,400 full-time positions or 95 per cent of all the new jobs, suggests the country's upward trend continued for a fourth consecutive month.

Many other countries would love to have 4.5% unemployment.

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