The US economic recovery continues steadily with another +215,000 jobs added in March according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), just beating consensus forecasts of around +200,000 or so to rack up a 73rd consecuctive monthly gain.
Retail trade was once again very strong, adding +48,000 jobs and construction had another big month, while manufacturing and mining were again weaker performing sectors.
There were only moderate revisions to the January and February figures, and so for the year to date the economy has been averaging +209,000 jobs per month, a bit slower than the pace of gains sustained through 2015, but solid nevertheless.
The participation rate has improved over a period of time to 63 per cent. There were around 8 million unemployed persons, and the unemployment rate ticked up to 5 per cent, with the 3 month average unemployment rate essentially remaining flat.
The closely observed average hourly earnings figure increased by 7 cents to $25.43, after the slight decline last month (highlighting the fallacy of drawing strong conclusions from one month of figures). Year-on-year average hourly earnings were up solidly by +2.3 per cent.
Overall, a pretty good set of numbers, suggesting that the US economic recovery remains on track.
That said, markets are pricing a long, slow haul for the tightening of interest rates...