March jobs report: 3 things to know about the labor market, unemployment, and wage growth

Yahoo Finance Live’s Brad Smith summarizes three key topics to watch for this morning.

Video Transcript

BRAD SMITH: And, everyone, the jobs data taking center stage today. And before we send you off for the holiday weekend, here are three things that you need to know from jobs day. First off, the labor market remains tight as March numbers come in just above expectation. 236,000 non-farm payroll jobs were added last month versus the 230,000 that were projected.

That is down from a revised 323,000 in February. All of this means trouble for the Fed as they continue trying to fight inflation and decide whether or not to move on with hiking rates in their next meeting, which isn't until the beginning of May. We had our RSM Chief Economist Joe Brusuelas on the show earlier today to break down the numbers and the impact. Here's what he had to say.

JOE BRUSUELAS: That means the Fed really will, in a short period of time, be able to create a narrative whereby they can engage in a strategic pause. Brian, you're right-- we're going to see a repricing of rate hikes. So those rate hikes-- or excue me, the rate cuts aren't going to happen this year, but maybe early next year.

BRAD SMITH: Second thing-- unemployment's down in March, as it drops to 3.5% versus the 3.6% expected, and the 3.6% from February with the decrease coming as labor force participation increased to its highest level since before the COVID pandemic. And finally, year over year wage growth coming in below the 4.3% expectations just slightly-- 4.2% in March was the year over year number. The average workweek edging lower to 34.4% hours.

SEANA SMITH: All right, well, that does it for us today. But a couple of programming notes before we let you go-- Jennifer Schonberger we'll have an exclusive interview with New York Fed President John Williams. That's happening on Tuesday. You won't want to miss that.

Plus, late to file your taxes? We will be speaking with experts all next week to break down your next steps. We'll be back with you 9:00 AM on Monday. Have a great weekend.