The latest job figures from the US suggest the country is shifting into higher gear after being held back by an unusually harsh winter. Data for March saw about the same increase in jobs as in the previous month.
US employers were able to keep a solid pace of hiring throughout March, the Labor Department reported Friday.
It said nonfarm payrolls rose by 192,000 new jobs last month, following an increase of 197,000 in February.
With Americans flooding the labor market in March, the overall unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.7 percent despite the new jobs created.
Signal for the Fed
The Labor Department stated that about half a million people started looking for work last month, with most of them actually finding employment. It viewed the increase in job-seekers as a sign the latter were more optimistic about their prospects with the harsh winter period finally over.
Although growth remained somewhat undercut by businesses trying to trim their bloated inventories and the expiration of benefits for the long-term unemployed, new data from manufacturing and the service sector signaled strength in the economy as the first quarter drew to a close.
It was the private sector which accounted for all employment gains in March, with no jobs being added by the government.
Experts said the steady pace of hiring should allow the Federal Reserve to continue scaling back its monetary stimulus as envisaged by new Fed Chair Janet Yellen.
hg/hc (AFP, AP, Reuters)