Companies in the U.S. are continuing to hire at a steady clip but are only beginning to raise wages to match, according to the latest jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics released today. The economy added 215,000 private, non-farm payroll positions in March, coming in slightly ahead of analyst expectations and mirroring the monthly index from payroll-processing company ADP and partner Moody’s Analytics’ issued earlier this week. The seasonally adjusted figure is a notch down from the upward-revised 245,000 jobs added in February, but matches the trend in monthly job gains over the past four years. Concerns over wage growth have some questioning the long-term impact of the latest hiring gains, The New York Times reports, noting that average hourly earnings increased by 0.3 percentage point in March, ahead of analyst expectations; with hourly wages up 2.3 percent for the year, it's an encouraging sign.
At 5 percent, the national unemployment rate is consistent with the two months prior, which both reported 4.9 percent.
Hiring in the architecture and engineering services sector slowed considerably from February to March, adding 300 jobs for the period and posting a gain for the fourth-consecutive month. Construction companies continued to add to their payrolls while manufacturing, particularly sensitive to volatility in the global markets and cheap energy prices, lost jobs in March.
In addition to its monthly report on the country’s economic health released this morning, the BLS also released information on subsets of key markets. This data is a month behind that of the national report, reflecting market conditions in February rather than in March. Below, we've broken out Architectural Services, Landscape Architectural Services, and Engineering and Drafting Services from the larger Architectural and Engineering Services category (shown at the bottom of the post reflecting this month's data).
This post has been updated.