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US payrolls count reduced by 501 000 in in year through March

Aug 21 2019 21:16
Vince Golle

US job growth was probably less robust in the year through March, according to government data released on Wednesday.

The number of workers added to payrolls will probably be revised down by 501 000 during the period, or almost 42 000 a month, the Labor Department said in preliminary benchmark projections for final revisions due next year.

Average monthly job gains last year "seemed too good to be true in light of how tight the labour market has become and how much trouble firms are said to be having finding qualified workers," said Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Amherst Pierpont Securities LLC, in a note to clients on Wednesday.

Labour revised down leisure and hospitality payrolls by 175 000 and business services by 163 000. Retail employment was revised down by 146 400.

Employment gains averaged 223 000 a month last year, the most since 2015. The final annual benchmark revisions to payrolls will be issued with the January employment data released in February 2020. The Labour Department uses records from state jobless benefit tax records to benchmark its employment data.

- With assistance from Reade Pickert and Alex Tanzi.

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