The American economy added 215,000 jobs in March, mostly at the bottom of the wage spectrum. Healthcare and social assistance accounted for 44,000 jobs, retail trade for 48,000, and leisure/hospitaly for 40,000. Manufacturing and mining, usually better-paid sectors, meanwhile lost 41,000 jobs. This continues the pattern of the last couple of years, with steady employment growth in low-skilled and low-paid occupations combined with attribution in the goods-producing sector.
The Atlanta Federal Reserve’s GDPNow tracking model, which projects GDP growth based on the most recent data announcements, puts first-quarter US GDP growth at just 0.6% annualized. Seasonally-adjusted employment grew at an annualized rate of 0.9%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That suggests a fall in Q1 labor productivity.