Markets: Live

US job hiring dips amid signs of slowdown

Employment law

Staff hiring has slowed

US firms hired fewer workers in March than in the previous month, providing further evidence of a slowdown, but not enough to snap the inflation trend.

The economy added 236,000 jobs (Feb: 326,000), with the unemployment rate dipping slightly to 3.5% despite a swathe of job cuts among big corporates.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report average hourly earnings rose by 0.3% month-on-month, which was one tenth of a percentage point more than during February, as expected.

The latest jobs growth figure was in line with economist expectations and is the lowest monthly gain since December 2020.

Together with manufacturing activity and construction spending, the data signals that the economy could be slowing down too quickly.

Big job cuts among the nation’s tech giants have spread to other sectors. Retailer Walmart and fast-food chain McDonald’s are among those downsizing their payroll.

The US dollar barely moved but the market on assumes the Federal Reserve will continue to prioritise the battle to control inflation and will hike interest rates at least one more time this year.

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