March saw better than expected job gains of 216k vs expectations of 190k and the private sector added 230k jobs, 24k above estimates. There was a net upward revision of 7k to the prior two months but positively by 44k in the private sector. The unemployment rate ticked down .1% to 8.8% as the Household survey said 291k jobs were added vs a 160k increase in the size of the labor force. The all in rate fell to 15.7% from 15.9%. The disappointment within the data was a zero increase in average hourly earnings for the 4th month in the past 5 just as the cost of living continues to hit record highs.
And - Krugman: There has been some celebrating over the jobs report, and for sure 200,000 jobs is better than 100,000, or none at all.
But still: here’s the employment-population ratio - We need much more than this:
Update: Ritholtz comments: This month, consensus estimates are for 190,000 net job gains. In a normal economic cycle, this would be considered a soft number, barely greater than the 150k need to stay ahead of population growth. However, in a post credit crisis economy, where GDP remains middling and job creation is not robust, this is considered a decent number. To really move the needle on Unemployment, 300-400k per month (or better) is what is required