Jobs Report: March Wage Growth Slows To July 2009 Level as Retail Employment Slumps The Most Since The Great Recession

The March jobs report is out and there is good news and bad news. 

First, the good news.

The U-3 unemployment rate fell to 4.5%, the lowest since May 2007. The U-6 unemployment rate fell to 8.9%, the lowest since December 2007.

The bad news? Only 98k non-farm payroll jobs were added in March. Also in the bad news column, average hourly earnings for all employees (private) fell to 2.7% YoY. That is still below the first half of 2009 and all of 2007 and 2008.

This wage growth figure is consistent with the worst wage recovery after a recession in modern history.

Despite the lowest unemployment rate since 2007, retail employment continues its downward slide. True, retail employment often declines after the end of the holiday season, but the decline in February and March is the largest downward movement since The Great Recession.

A small number of jobs added was spread evenly across employment groups (except for retail).

Not in labor force jumped from 93,914k to  94,502k in March. That is 94.5 million not in the labor force.

All this slow wage growth contributes to empty retail stores.


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