US: Job growth slows down in March

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US job growth slowed sharply as America added 103000 jobs in March.

The figure was slower than previous months and well below expectations that left the unemployment rate unchanged at 4.1 percent.

The rate has come down steadily from a peak of 10 percent in 2009.

Earlier, Economists had predicted 185,000 jobs.

Wages grew 2.7 percent in the last month as compared a year ago. Job gains for the first two months of 2018 were revised down by a total of 50000 jobs.

The job figures come as concern grows about a trade war between US and China.

President Trump said on Thursday that he is considering hitting China with tariffs on $100 billion more of its goods, for a total of $150 billion.

Chinese officials earlier this week announced they would apply tariffs on $50 billion on US exports to China.

Separately, Trump has already imposed a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum.

The tariffs apply to most nations, except six nations and the European Union.

Economists say it’s unlikely the trade concerns contributed to the slowdown in job growth. Small companies that could even be hurt are auto manufacturers who make up a small slice of total jobs.

“The impact of that is going to take some months to be felt,” said Robert Frick, chief economist at Navy Federal Credit Union.

“You are not going to lose 100,000 jobs because of people not adding jobs to steel and aluminum,” he added.

Manufacturing and healthcare industries each added 22000 jobs in March while Business services gained 33000. But retail businesses shed 4,000 jobs and construction companies lost 15,000 workers after going on a hiring spree in February.

Analysts said that the cold weather may have contributed to the slowdown.

“The US economy is still maintaining a healthy pace of expansion,” said Sam Ballard, a senior economist at Wells Fargo.

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