Barrie's unemployment rate improves slightly in March

But for men, the unemployment rate stayed steady at 4.3 percent.

The unemployment rate dropped to 4.5 percent - down from 4.7 percent in February. In the first three months of this year, job gains have averaged 178,000 per month.

The actual number of unemployed persons fell by 326,000 to 7.2 million, and the number of persons unemployed less than five weeks declined by 232,000 to 2.3 million.

Job gains were found in professional and business services and mining, while retail continued to lose positions. The drop occurred because 16- to 19-year olds found jobs, likely at entry-level employers such as restaurants, which added almost 22,000 jobs last month. The jobless rates for adult men (4.3%), teenagers (13.7%), black people (8.0%) and Asian people (3.3%) showed little or no change.

Construction companies added just 6,000 jobs in March, the fewest in seven months.

With files from The Canadian Press.

And it reported that average hourly earnings rose 0.2 percent in March from February and have risen 2.7 percent over the past 12 months. But even as the number of new jobs created came in well short of what economists were looking for, the unemployment rate beat expectations to hit levels not seen in 10 years.

It's a disappointment, given the USA added 219,000 jobs in February and averaged 187,000 new jobs a month previous year.

The construction industry faced bad news.

The number of new jobs this March is less than half what it was in March 2016.

Jobless: The number of new U.S. jobs dropped to 98,000 in March after reaching an impressive 235,000 in February. Declining on the month were retail trade (-29,700) and information (-3,000).

The report said non-farm payroll employment climbed by 98,000 jobs in March after surging up by a revised 219,000 jobs in February.

Payroll growth was slowed by stormy weather in March after unusually good weather helped growth in January and February, according to economist Jed Kolko, of the job web site "Indeed". Education and health care services added the fewest jobs for that category in 15 months.

A rate of unemployment under 5% indicates that an economy is in "full employment". But wage growth has been relatively flat since the recession despite the steady increase in jobs.

  • Zachary Reyes