The U.S. posted slower, but solid job gains. Wages rebounded, and more people went look for work. Fred Katayama reports.
Slower but solid job growth in March, and wages rebounded. The U.S. economy added 215,000 people to its payrolls. The previous two months' jobs gains were slightly revised downward. The unemployment rate ticked up to 5.0 percent but for a good reason: more people went looking for work, a sign of confidence in the jobs market. Erin Browne of Point72 Asset Management: (SOUNDBITE) ERIN BROWNE, GLOBAL MACRO PORTFOLIO MANAGER, POINT72 ASSET MANAGEMENT (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We've seen a gradual healing in the economy, and that's reflected in the payroll print." The jobs gains were rather broad-based. Adding the most to payrolls: retail, and healthcare. Construction added jobs for the ninth straight month. The sectors shedding the most jobs: manufacturing and mining. Average hourly wages rose 0.3 percent in March, reversing February's slippage. Limited wage gains have left the Fed wary of further rate hikes even as the labor market tighten. (SOUNDBITE) ERIN BROWNE, GLOBAL MACRO PORTFOLIO MANAGER, POINT72 ASSET MANAGEMENT (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I don't think this number was strong enough to really change expectations for rate hikes materially. I think we're going to have to see more data come in in order for me to materially change my expectations. But I do think June is on the table." Fed policymakers next meet in late April.