The U.S. unemployment rate has fallen to a 10-year low in March, although the economy added fewer than expected number of jobs.
The employers added only 98,000 jobs in the month of March, almost half the expected 180,000 figure predicted by economists. The 98,000 jobs created are less than half the number for January and February.
Despite those numbers, the unemployment rate fell from 4.7% to just 4.5%, the lowest since May 2007.
The unemployment rate under 5% is considered to indicate “full employment.”
In order to keep pace with the growth in the working-age population, the economy needs to add 75,000 to 100,000 new jobs every month.
The U.S. had created more than 200,000 jobs in the month of January and February, but March brought a major storm to the North East, which had a direct impact on hiring.
Neil Wilson, a Senior Market Analyst at ETX Capital, said that the March’s job creation figure was a “massive miss,” but added that he doubted it would stop U.S. Federal Reserve raising interest rates two more times this year, with the next move expected in June. He said:
“The overall trend remains one of very strong job creation – and it’s still a decent number that is way above the paltry 38,000 registered in June 2016.”
The dollar rose against Euro and Sterling, while S&P 500 and Dow Jones were flat in morning trading in New York on Friday, April 7.
The U.S. Labor Department revised the figure for the number of jobs created in the month of January and February. The figure got lowered to 216,000 from 238,000 in January, while jobs created in February got down from 235,000 to 219,000.
The percentage of people in work or looking for a job remained steady at 63%.