Spring is finally here. The U.S. economy added 192,000 jobs in March, leaving the unemployment rate unchanged at 6.7 percent, according to new data released Friday morning from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This comes on the heels of last month’s expectations-beating report, which showed a growth of 175,000 jobs in February.
The new report revises February’s growth to 197,000 and January’s to 144,000 jobs added, up from an original 129,000.
Friday’s report came in slightly below Wall Street’s optimistic expectations of about 200,000 added jobs in March. The U.S. economy has added 183,000 jobs per month on average over the last year, but the brutal winter across the country cooled things down a bit. Accounting for the latest revisions, from December through February, the average job growth per month was just 139,000, below the 225,000 average growth during the preceding three months. That drop-off can be partially attributed to interruption in construction, and heavy snow temporarily shutting down factories.
Signs of the positive weather change can be seen in the growth of the average workweek in the latest report. In March, the average workweek increased by 0.2 hours to 34.5 hours, including a 0.3 hour increase for the manufacturing workweek. In construction, the average workweek increased by one hour from February to March, returning to the 39.1-hour week from March 2013.
So if baseball season starting up this past week didn’t prove it to you, this new jobs report hopefully should: Winter is over. With the combination of February’s revised number and March’s near-200,000 growth, things are looking just a little rosier. The economic recovery has a way to go, but we may finally be turning a corner after a sluggish few months.
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"North Korea said on Friday it might test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean after President Donald Trump vowed to destroy the reclusive country, with leader Kim Jong Un promising to make Trump pay dearly for his threats. Kim did not specify what action he would take against the United States or Trump, whom he called a 'mentally deranged U.S. dotard' in the latest bout of insults the two leaders have traded in recent weeks."
President Trump this afternoon announced another round of sanctions on North Korea, calling the regime "a continuing threat." The executive order, which Trump relayed to Congress, bans any ship or plane that has visited North Korea from visiting the United States within 180 days. The order also authorizes sanctions on any financial institution doing business with North Korea, and permits the secretaries of State and the Treasury to sanction any person involved in trading with North Korea, operating a port there, or involved in a variety of industries there.
In response to a reporter's question, President Trump said "he’ll be looking to impose further financial penalties on North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic tests. ... The U.N. has passed two resolutions recently aimed at squeezing the North Korean economy by cutting off oil, labor and exports to the nation." Meanwhile, the Guardian reports that South Korea's unification ministry is sending an $8m aid package aimed at infants and pregnant women in North Korea. The "humanitarian gesture [is] at odds with calls by Japan and the US for unwavering economic and diplomatic pressure on Pyongyang."
President Trump on Tuesday night met with UN Secretary Guterres and President of the General Assembly Miroslav Lajcak. In both cases, as per releases from the White House, Trump pressed them on the need to reform the UN bureaucracy.