March's job gains could mirror February's

People talk to a potential employers at a

People talk to a potential employers at a New York state jobs fair. (Getty) (Credit: People talk to a potential employers at a New York state jobs fair. (Getty) )

For economists, the start of a new month can only mean one thing: It’s time for the all-important monthly jobs report.

Tuesday, payroll firm ADP will release its March employment report. Economists expect to see that 198,000 jobs were added in the private sector in March, which would be consistent with the figure from February.

The ADP payroll report sets the stage for Friday, when the government’s own jobs report comes out. In February, Wall Street was positively surprised when the economy added 236,000 jobs, far higher than all expectations.

The unemployment rate dipped to 7.7% from 7.9%, its lowest level in four years.
No such surprises are projected this time, with Wall Street analysts forecasting that the unemployment rate will hold at 7.7%, as jobs growth will be solid but not as strong as it was in February.

For the unemployment rate to continue to fall, most economists agree that the U.S. economy needs to consistently achieve at least February — like job growth figures for an extended period.

Tags: BUSINESS

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