After economists’ predictions on job growth were shattered last month, this month brought a less than exciting report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The announcement of 126,000 new jobs added in March was much lower than expected. The unemployment rate was also a bit disappointing as it remained at 5.5%, unchanged from the month prior. Both January and February’s job gains were revised and now sit at 201,000 and 264,000 new jobs added. This is 69,000 less jobs than previously reported. In the first quarter of 2015, job additions averaged 197,000 per month. Industry insiders say these numbers are an indication of a slowdown in hiring.
While the overall number of added jobs in March was disappointing, there is one bright spot for us. The Tech industry saw job growth month-over-month and had one of the highest averages for job growth in the first quarter of 2015.
Others Struggle While IT Industry Remains Top Performer
Employment in the Professional and Business Services sector increased by 40,000 in March. Job growth in the first quarter averaged 34,000 per month in the industry. A major contributor to job growth in this industry is the Professional and Technical Services sector. In March, 23,700 jobs were added. Of those new jobs, management and technical consulting services and computer systems design both contributed 4,000 new jobs each.
While it is an increase from February, the unemployment rate for Professional and Technical Services still sits well below the national average at 3.3%.
March Fast Facts
Another Bright Spot: Workers are Getting Paid More
Even though we didn’t add as many jobs as expected, American workers are getting paid more on average than last month. In March, average hourly earnings for all employees rose by $.07 to $24.86. Over the year, average hourly earnings have gone up by 2.1%.