US unemployment rate falls to 10-year low

April 8, 2017
Source: BBC
US unemployment rate falls to 10-year low

The US unemployment rate fell to its lowest in almost a decade in March, despite the economy adding a smaller than expected number of jobs.

Employers added 98,000 jobs last month - far fewer than the 180,000 expected by economists and less than half the figure for January and February.

However, the unemployment rate fell from 4.7% in February to just 4.5% - the lowest since May 2007.

Anything under 5% is considered to indicate "full employment".

The economy needs to create 75,000 to 100,000 jobs a month to keep pace with growth in the working-age population.

The US had added more than 200,000 jobs in both January and February, but March brought lower temperatures and a major storm to the North East, which was likely to have hit hiring.

"There probably was a large weather-related factor in there during the measurement week. The underlying data still suggests that job growth is pretty good," said Russell Price, senior economist at Ameriprise Financial Services.