The US economy added 215,000 jobs in March, but wage growth remained stagnant. With job growth strong over the past few months, the focus of the recovery has largely shifted to wage growth which has been an issue.
The unemployment rate ticked up one-tenth to 5% from February’s 4.9%. Job growth and an increase in the unemployment rate often means that more people are actively looking for work. The labor force participation rate increased in March and has hit a two-year high.
Job growth was higher than expected with most analysts predicted around 200,000 jobs added. Wages grew by 2.3% compared to last year.
The report also showed that the recovery has not affected all groups equally. The unemployment rate for blacks (9.0%) is more than double the unemployment rate for whites (4.3%) and Asians (4.0%).
Teenagers registered the highest unemployment rate of groups reported with 15.9% unemployment.
The unemployment rate includes people actively looking for employment. People who are not looking for work are not counted in the rate.
January’s jobs report was revised down 4,000 jobs, but February’s was revised upward 3,000 jobs.