The economy added 196,000 jobs in March, pacifying concerns about the pace of the job market sparked by uncharacteristically low job growth reported in February. President Donald Trump was optimistic about the news but blamed the Federal Reserve for slowing the economy, calling on the central bank to lower interest rates.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported a gain of 20,000 jobs in February, well under the 100,000 the economy needs to keep up with population growth. Historically, however, a job growth number this low usually turns out to be a one-month fluke.
"This was a Goldilocks report, with a rebound in job growth to calm fears of an imminent recession, and wage growth that was solid enough without triggering inflationary concerns," said Curt Long, chief economist at the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions. "The Fed will be pleased, as it supports their present stance of holding firm on rates."
Unemployment Low and SteadyThe unemployment rate remained at 3.8 percent in March, inching up for Hispanics after a record low in February and decreasing further for Blacks.
The economy has been boosted by President Donald Trump’s pro-growth policies including cutting taxes and regulations and renegotiating the deal with Canada and Mexico.
Trump on the FedTrump blamed the slowdown in the past six months mostly on the Federal Reserve’s raising of interest rates.
The Fed raised the rates four times in 2018 under Jerome Powell, whom the president picked two years ago to chair the bank, but has since repeatedly criticized for the rate hikes.
On April 4, Trump said he plans to nominate his political ally, Herman Cain, the former head of Godfather's Pizza, to one of two vacancies on the Fed's seven-member Board of Governors.
Two weeks ago, Trump said he would nominate conservative economic commentator Stephen Moore to the other vacant seat on the Fed's board. Moore is also a longtime Trump ally who has joined him in criticizing last year's rate hikes.