Stats: Hiring holds steady, inflation ticks up

The unemployment rate changed little at 3.8%, the U.S. job gains occurred in health care, government and construction while inflation ticked up.
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Stuttgart, Germany - 09-21-2023: Person holding smartphone with

According to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Washington, D.C., in March 2024, the U.S. labor market saw significant activity with a rise in total nonfarm payroll employment by 303,000. Despite these gains, the unemployment rate remained stable at 3.8%. Key sectors such as health care, government and construction contributed prominently to job creation. 

Key Highlights: 

  • Health care sector: Added 72,000 jobs, with notable increases in ambulatory health care services, hospitals and nursing and residential care facilities. 
  • Government employment: Increased by 71,000 jobs, mainly in local and federal government sectors. 
  • Construction industry: Experienced a growth of 39,000 jobs, focusing on nonresidential specialty trade contractors. 

Other sectors such as leisure and hospitality, and other services, also showed positive trends, contributing to the overall employment growth. However, industries like retail trade, mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction saw little to no change. 

Inflation 

In March 2024, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers increased by 0.4%, seasonally adjusted, mirroring the increase observed in February. Over the past 12 months, the has risen by 3.5% before seasonal adjustment. 

Significant Changes in March 2024: 

  • Shelter and gasoline: These indexes saw increases and together contributed to over half of the monthly rise in the CPI.  
  • Energy: The energy index rose by 1.1%, driven by increases in the gasoline index. 
  • Food: The overall food index slightly increased by 0.1%, with stability in food at home costs and a 0.3 percent rise in food away from home. 

Yearly Overview: 

  • The all items index recorded a 3.5% increase for the 12 months ending March 2024, a rise from the 3.2% annual increase reported in February. 
  • The core index (all items less food and energy) climbed by 3.8% over the past year. 
  • Energy prices saw a modest annual increase of 2.1%, marking the first yearly rise since February 2023. 
  • Food prices rose 2.2% over the last year, with notable increases in nonalcoholic beverages and meats, poultry, fish and eggs. 

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