Over the last week or so the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that job growth slowed significantly in March. In fact, the rate of growth was slowed by a factor of about 50% with March showing approximately 120,000 new jobs added versus an average of 240,000 jobs per month in January and February. Before we begin fortifying the bunker and stock-piling drinking water we have plenty of reasons to sit back and relax a bit as all is far from lost.
It’s important to remember that despite the slowed jobs growth, jobs were still added in March while we have also accumulated some impressive national growth year to date. In comparing the addition of new jobs over last year, growth has stayed at a respectable pace and has also maintained a healthy balance with overall economic conditions. What we don’t want to see is a sustained pace of jobs growth out-pacing overall economic growth. History has shown that these scenarios create very thin bubbles with subsequent painful bursts.
The local markets continue to outrun national averages in terms of unemployment. Massachusetts maintains an unemployment rate 16% below the national average while New Hampshire has now dipped 37% below the national average at 5.2%. While a slow in overall growth certainly isn’t a unilateral positive, we have plenty of reason to be patient and enjoy the success we have seen throughout the entire first quarter.