US hiring slows down in March

The year was off to a rollicking start in regard to job creation, with new position totals nearing 200,000 in both months to start 2013. Yet the nation received some less-than-encouraging news after the latest government statistics for U.S. hiring in March were some of lowest in the past year. While many have pointed the finger at the sequestration, businesses that are still high on their hiring prospects can work with recruiting agencies to boost talent searches in tougher times.

Lowest level of job creation since June 2012
The latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics employment situation report for the month of March showed domestic employers only added 88,000 jobs. The average monthly total for the previous 12 months was 169,000 new positions and March's total lands it next to June 2012, when just 87,000 total positions were added.

The government report comes in contrast with an ADP study released just days before the federal data that found private sector hiring in March had actually reached 158,000.

The BLS report also fell well below the expectations of several market analysts. Economic commentators surveyed by CNNMoney expected a March increase of some 190,000 jobs. Many blamed the prolonged political sparring over the sequestration, and the implementation of the sweeping budget cuts themselves, as prime factors behind the dismal March showing.

The blow of the March numbers was softened in some respects by upward revisions for the months of January and February. January's job total was bumped up to 148,000 from a previously reported 119; February's revised total was 268,000 new positions, up from 236,000.

The drop in the unemployment rate to 7.8 percent was also some for some encouragement, yet the decrease came at the expense of the economy and the job market: government data indicated 500,000 individuals seeking employment left the national workforce.

Select few industries continue growth, manufacturing holds steady
In actuality, private sector employers added 95,000 jobs during March, but job losses numbering 7,000 in government positions offset the gains enough to dent the total.

A few strong-performing industries were almost entirely behind the jobs creation in March. Professional and business services increased employment by 51,000, while healthcare added 23,000 jobs. Construction also saw an uptick of 18,000 positions.

Meanwhile, manufacturing recruiters will look to hold steady as the industry's employment levels were relatively unchanged from the month before. The same could be said for mining, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information technology and financial activities; however, retail trade saw staffing numbers reduced by 24,000 jobs.

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