The U.S. economy added 215,000 jobs in March, a healthier gain than the 199,000 predicted by economists. The impressive new jobs report was a mixed bag, however, as it also revealed that wages continued to remain stagnant. Pay rates climbed just 2.3 percent compared to last year.
The unimpressive wage growth is a result of many workers who are seeking full-time positions but are only finding part-time jobs open to them. The bond market did not have a significant reaction to the jobs report.
Overall unemployment climbed a tenth of a point, an indication that more Americans are returning to the job hunt. The U.S. unemployment rate was 5 percent last month, a figure many economists consider to be full employment. Even in historically strong economic times, the rate doesn't often fall far below this.
Construction was among the leading sectors during the month with 37,000 new positions. This comes as demand for new housing increases ahead of the summer home buying season. Today, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates average 3.625 percent while the 15-year rate is near 3 percent.
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