March Payrolls Crumble: Only 98K Jobs Added Despite Slide In Unemployment Rate

Tyler Durden's picture

And so the reflation trade is dead once again.

So much for that blockbuster ADP report. As we cautioned previously in our payrolls preview, the big risk to today's payrolls report was to the downside, mostly as a result of the unseasonably cold March weather, and moments ago the BLS confirmed that indeed something snapped in March when only 98K jobs were added, roughly half of the 180K expected. This was the lowest monthly jobs number since May of 2016.

Worse, both prior months were revised lower. The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for January was revised down from +238,000 to +216,000, and the  change for February was revised down from +235,000 to +219,000. With these revisions, employment gains in January  and February combined were 38,000 less than previously reported.

What is surprising is that the poor Establishment Survey number was on the back of a very strong Household Survey, which saw employment rise by 472,000 to 153 million, while the number of unemployed Americans reportedly declined by 326K to a seasonally adjusted 7,202K.

Also confusing, the unemployment rate tumbled to 4.5% vs prior 4.7%; and below the 4.7%, estimate, in a range 4.6%-4.8% from 82 economists surveyed. The underemployment rate 8.9% vs prior 9.2%

There were no changes to the participation rate, which remained at 63% with the number of people not in the labor force barely changed at 94,213 million.

That other closely watched indicator, average hourly earnings, rose in line with expectations at 0.2% m/m, while the annual increased also matched expectations of Y/y 2.7%, dipping modestly from last month's 2.8%.

Some other details:

  • Nonfarm private payrolls rose 89k vs prior 221k; est. 170k, range 125k-270k from 42 economists surveyed
  • Manufacturing payrolls rose 11k after rising 26k in the prior month; economists estimated 17k, range -5k to 32k from 22 economists surveyed

And from the report:

Total nonfarm payroll employment edged up by 98,000 in March, following gains of 219,000 in February and 216,000  in January. Over the month, employment growth occurred in professional and business services (+56,000) and in  mining (+11,000), while retail trade lost jobs (-30,000).

In March, employment in professional and business services rose by 56,000, about in line with the average monthly  gain over the prior 12 months. Over the month, job gains occurred in services to buildings and dwellings (+17,000) and in architectural and engineering services (+7,000).

Mining added 11,000 jobs in March, with most of the gain occurring in support activities for mining (+9,000). Mining employment has risen by 35,000 since reaching a recent low in October 2016.

In March, employment continued to trend up in health care (+14,000), with job gains in hospitals (+9,000) and outpatient care centers (+6,000). In the first 3 months of this year, health care added an average of 20,000 jobs per month, compared with an average monthly gain of 32,000 in 2016.

Employment in financial activities continued to trend up in March (+9,000) and has increased by 178,000 over the past 12 months.

Construction employment changed little in March (+6,000), following a gain of 59,000 in February. Employment in construction has been trending up since late last summer, largely among specialty trade contractors and in residential building.

Retail trade lost 30,000 jobs in March. Employment in general merchandise stores declined by 35,000 in March and has declined by 89,000 since a recent high in October 2016.

Employment in other major industries, including manufacturing, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, leisure and hospitality, and government, showed little or no change over the month.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.3 hours in March. In manufacturing, the workweek edged down by 0.2 hour to 40.6 hours, and overtime edged down by 0.1 hour to 3.2 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged down by 0.1 hour to 33.5 hours.

In March, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 5 cents to $26.14, following a 7-cent increase in February. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 68 cents, or 2.7 percent. In March, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 4 cents to $21.90.

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Shocker's picture

We are in some interesting times, but for what its worth job wise

Who’s Hiring:
Who’s Firing:

Lets see if its possible to turn this economy around.

StackShinyStuff's picture

Doesn't matter. Stocks will close higher anyway (Always do on NFP Day) plus we have the WOAR BITCHEZ! trade going as well...


Edit:  Wait a minute..How could it be going down?  Unless that crop report...GOD HELP US!!!!

Mentaliusanything's picture

98,000 Jobs added in a work force of .... (fuck) 320,000,000 is a fart in your general direction.

and 98,000 of those Americans just added another job to the 2 they have now .. Just to keep the fridge from pumping cold air on nothing.

Start a War they said, it will be good for the economy they said, and Pigs might fly if they had wings they said


Hitlery_4_Dictator's picture

Trump the only solution is to launch cruise missiles at the BLS!  Save us.

Toxicosis's picture

They knew the job numbers this week already that were coming out today, thus the Syria strike was an utter fucking DISTRACTION to bring us to war as the economy begins mass implosion.  These fuckers know exactly what they're doing.  And the majority of the population laps it up like a dog obeyance.  As Celente states, "When all else fails they bring us to war!"  It is time to find these motherfuckers and hang every last fucking one for all and plenty to see.

spastic_colon's picture

8:19am - last chance for jobs will be the perfect report, not too hot, not too cold.....although betting on a miss to keep the dot plot at bay for another month.


its the weather lol.....its only and all about keeping rate expectations watch the fed backpeddle.....but since its friday you know the ending.

SallySnyd's picture

As shown in this article, there is one very important aspect of the employment picture in America that is in far worse shape that it was during the Great Recession:


This issue is a grave concern since it will have a significant negative impact on both future economic growth and household finances.

1stepcloser's picture

Fuck you Trump...Neo-conartist water boy!

Triple A's picture

We need more bomb makers.... And fast.

Deplorable's picture

Need to replace those 60 tomahawks

Stormtrooper's picture

Probably a lot of pissed off people making bombs right now.

silverer's picture

What we need to get the economy rolling and continue the Ponzi is another war, right Donald and congress?

KansasCrude's picture

Sombody convince me these ruthless cold hearted SOB's didn't coordinate the bombing with the payrolls trash so they could get a 2-4-1 in the PM's instead of two seperate rallies.... Absolutely nothing that  Sodom (DC) and Gomorrah (Wall Street) does can suprise me at this point....All in for whatever it takes.  MAY THEY ROT IN HELL

I am Jobe's picture

We need 


Support our Troops Bumper Stickers

Pink Ribbons Bumper Stickers

Yellow Ribbons  Bumper Stickers


This should do a great job in providing the masses the so called HOPE 

jamesmmu's picture

This is it! I said Friday is one of my predicted doom date for stock market. In technical term, if stocks ended deep in red, its very bad for its long term outlook too.

Consumer credit report coming up at 3:00pm.


small axe's picture

shocking news for the 10 people in the world who still actually believe these numbers

Defiated's picture

Government Formulas...Bullshit number + Bullshit number 'in' = Bullshit number 'out'

aliens is here's picture

Jobs? Who needs jobs. We need people to be cannon fodders in the ME and other places. Today is an awesome day for the military industrial complex and John McCain.

LawsofPhysics's picture

Now that airstrike makes a little more sense...


"look over here sheep, look over here"....

At 1.5 million per missle, ka-ching!!!!

TheSilentMajority's picture

Assad and Russias fault!!

Must bomb Syria again today.

SmilinJoeFizzion's picture

Wonder how long it will take the Dems to wheel out Cindy Sheehan

ejmoosa's picture

The lowest rate of job growth since the 12 months ending August 2011...

But keep believing folks!   Hopium works on both democrats and republicans.

Megaton Jim's picture

95 million or so unemployed and more than 50 million are on welfare and the unemployment rate is only 4.5%?!? Who is bullshitting who?!?

TheSilentMajority's picture

...and annual inflation has been less than 2% for about a decade ;)

Honest Sam's picture

errata:  that 95 million should be cut by 2/3 as it includes those who are out of the work force voluntarily, celebrating their freedom.

So it's 30,000,000 that are under employed, or unemployed whose benefits are exhausted, and among those are working age teenagers who really  don't want to. 

Just sayin'///

RawPawg's picture

all is not lost

I just got permission from my wife to visit my local fave gun/coin dealer dude today...Awesome,Eh?

NoVa's picture

Permission from Wife - -

is she also going to let you stand up to Pee ?



Honest Sam's picture

No gun toting, coin stashing, beer drinking deploradorable need EVER ask permission from the distaff side.  

Just TELL her what you are doing.  If she gives you any backtalk, tell her once and for all that it will not be tolerated, and that you are picking up an equal amount, just for her. She will give you a French kiss and promises of even more when you return. 

Then proceed.  Unfettered. 

RawPawg's picture

it's complicated

i know that as long as i play "my game" i will be redeemed in the end

there is a reason why i still carry my balls

pataince is a virtue  

lester1's picture



Buying more AUY today.. Easy $$$$$ to be made !!  :)

Silver Savior's picture

If you don't hold it you don't own it.

shimmy's picture

MAGA!!! Guessing we won't get a twitter post from the great pumpkin bragging about this. 


Dog Will Hunt's picture

And the slobber goes to... drumroll 

The TrumpSuckers!  Suck away, fucks.  

Fake Trump's picture


Where are they?

youarelost's picture

Ripples in the Force this morning. Is a breakup at hand?

Bill of Rights's picture

Nothing says SELL GOLD AND MINERS on all this great news~..fucking ridiculous.

silverer's picture

Oh, the happy picture of a bankrupt country on the edge. Heartwarming.

Giant Meteor's picture

Gee this is so vexing ...


Honest Sam's picture

A month does not a meme make.

SmilinJoeFizzion's picture

How are futures climbing- What a fucking joke.

Yen Cross's picture

  Unemployment rate 4.5% ~~~ LMFAO!!! 

Consuelo's picture



 I can attest that the black line shown in graph #3 - which seems to ramp around 1990, is your foolproof evidence of when the 'outsourcing' meme got its legs.   I saw it/was a part of it, first hand.   There was  brief transistion to local and out-of-state companies, which rapidly transititioned to 'offshore' companies.   The rest is old history by now.

Bemused Observer's picture

You are confused about the unemployment rate?


Like I said yesterday, the unemployment rate is down because for the past decade or so, the jobs being created were part-time or 'gig' jobs...which do NOT allow a worker to accumulate enough work credits to qualify for unemployment insurance....sound familiar?


Just like healthcare...the expensive 'insurance' is THERE, but you can't access it because, not enough 'credits', or co-pays and deductibles too high, etc.


Eventually enough people will be locked-out of unemployment insurance that the official 'rate' will be so ridiculously low compared with what is actually going on that it will be obvious something is waaaaay off...


"We're now at nearly 100% employment, Bill! Isn't that great?"


"Well Bob, their 'job' must be to cash government checks, because that's all any of them are doing!"