Job Market Rebounds in March, Markets Breathe a Sigh of Relief

Job additions beat expectations

The US (IVV) jobs report for March was released on April 5. Job additions in the country came in at 196,000 in March, which was higher than expected.

Economists had been expecting the figure to come in at 175,000. After a steep miss in February, job additions in March didn’t disappoint. February’s job additions were also revised upward to 33,000 from 20,000.

Job Market Rebounds in March, Markets Breathe a Sigh of Relief

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Job additions

The job additions in March were broad-based, with healthcare accounting for 49,000 gains, professional and business services accounting for 37,000, and construction accounting for 16,000. Manufacturing, on the other hand, lost 6,000 jobs in what was its second straight month of disappointing job additions. This decline can be partly attributed to the ongoing trade tussle between the United States (VTI) and China (FXI).

Markets up after the jobs report

We highlighted in Wall Street Is on High Alert ahead of US Jobs Report Release that the markets were awaiting March’s jobs report to find out whether the February jobs report was just a blip on the radar or the beginning of a sustained downtrend. As it turns out, the labor market’s strength is still intact.

The markets breathed a sigh of relief after the report was released. At 9:45 AM EDT, the S&P 500 Index (SPY), the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA), and the NASDAQ Composite Index (QQQ) were up 0.24%, 0.21%, and 0.39%, respectively.

In addition to the strong jobs report, the optimism related to ongoing US-China trade talks is supporting the markets.