• Total non-farm payroll employment increased 196 thousand in March, following an increase of 33 thousand in the previous month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Private-sector payrolls increased by 182 thousand in the month, while government employment increased by 14 thousand. In March, notable employment growth was realized in health care, and in professional and technical services.
  • The unemployment rate held steady at 3.8% in March. The unemployment rate was 4.0% in March of 2018.
  • The average workweek of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.1 hour to 34.5 hours. Average hourly earnings increased by 4 cents to $27.70. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings were up 3.2%.
  • The labor force participation rate, at 63.0%, changed little in March, and the employment population ratio held at 60.6%.
  • the number of unemployed persons decreased by 24 thousand to 6.211 million. At 1.305 million, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed in March and accounted for 21.1% of the unemployed. Over the year, the number of long-term unemployed was down by 31 thousand.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 10 thousand to 202 thousand in the week ending March 30. This is the lowest level for initial claims since December 6, 1969 when it was 202 thousand. The 4-week moving average was 213.5 thousand, a decrease of 4 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending March 23 was 1,717 thousand, a decrease of 38 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 1,743.25 thousand a decrease of 8 thousand from the previous week’s unrevised average.
  • Unemployment rates were lower in February than a year earlier in 283 of the 389 metropolitan areas, higher in 67 areas, and unchanged in 39 areas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In February, 39 metropolitan areas had year-over-year increases in nonfarm payroll employment, and 350 had essentially no change.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates held steady after seeing major drops during the week. 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 4.08% for the week ending April 4, up from a week earlier when it averaged 4.06%. A year-ago at this time, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 4.40%. 15-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.56%, down from last week when it averaged 3.57%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.87%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 18.6% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending March 29th.
  • The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) manufacturing survey indicated that the manufacturing sector expanded in March, and the overall economy grew for the 119th consecutive month.
  • In March, the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) non-manufacturing survey results indicated growth in the non-manufacturing business activity for the 110th consecutive month. Sixteen non-manufacturing industries reported growth, while two industries reported contraction in March.

 

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