Employment increased by 196,000 in March, according to the most recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Situation Summary.
Weighing in on the report, Doug Duncan, Chief Economist at Fannie Mae, said, “The March jobs report suggests that the labor market remains solid overall.”
“We expect the Fed to remain patient given a solid labor market and little evidence of upside inflation risks,” Duncan continued. “Meanwhile, employment in the residential construction sector expanded following a decline in February. This should allow builders to continue expanding supply at a gradual pace though labor shortages across the industry remain a concern. This report is directly in alignment with our economic and housing outlook for the year.”
March’s 196,000 jobs added is a jump from February’s 20,000, though unemployment remained relatively the same, at 3.8 percent. Additionally, construction showed little change, up by around 16,000, though construction has increased by 246,000 over the past 12 months.
realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale commented on the job growth, noting the increase in purchasing power for homebuyers.
“March’s jobs report painted a much brighter picture than a month ago, as 196,000 jobs were added, compared to February’s bleak 20,000 jobs and both January and February early reports were revised higher--meaning there were more jobs added those months than we originally believed. Job growth is slower than the average month in 2018, but appropriate since unemployment is at long-time lows,” said Hale.
Hale continued, “Unemployment continued to hover at a 19-year low, at 3.8 percent, just a touch higher than the 49-year low of 3.5 percent. The combination of earnings growth of 3.2 percent and low mortgage rates has boosted home buyers’ purchasing power in the face of rising home prices, but affordability remains a challenge, especially for entry-level buyers. Still, as buyers grapple with their budgets, job and earnings growth and lower mortgage rates suggest sufficient demand for sellers this spring.”
Find the report here.