Here are the eight quick things to know about the jobs report released today:
1. The U.S. employment machine notably lost momentum in March, with just 126,000 new jobs added — far fewer than the consensus expectation of around 250,000 — and with revisions erasing 69,000 from the previous two months’ total, according to the Labor Department. The lackluster result ends an impressive 12-month run of job gains in excess of 200,000.
2. The sectoral composition of the job gains and losses indicates that weather disruptions and international headwinds contributed to the disappointing number. Together, those forces countered what is still weak structural U.S. growth momentum.
3. The most widely followed measure of unemployment, the U-3 rate, was unchanged at 5.5 percent. As such, it remains above the 5 percent to 5.2 percent level that the Federal Reserve is said to regard as the policy-relevant NAIRU, or non-accelerating inflation rate of unemployment. The more comprehensive U-6 measure fell slightly, to 10.9 percent, its lowest since August 2008, just before the eruption of the global financial crisis.
4. The number of people classified as long-term unemployed was essentially unchanged, at 2.6 million, or 29.8 percent of the total, providing further evidence of the structural challenges facing the U.S.