To say the March 2017 employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics was one, hugely disappointing shock would be a big understatement. The so-called “experts” had predicted 180,000 jobs were going to be added last month, but in reality only 98,000 jobs were put on the payrolls in March. The government figures missed their mark by 80,000 jobs. These are terrible numbers, but what went wrong?
Economists are saying there are 3 main reasons, why the jobs report was so off kilter:
- It was a fluke
- A combination of a terribly cold and snowy month of March
- Or, it is an “unstoppable trend
The shockingly low gain of just 98,000 jobs in March crushes the optimism that the economy can break out of its sluggish growth trend. The low jobs number is not likely to stop the Federal Reserve from further interest rate hikes this year, unless it is followed by another weak number next month. Department store closings are also a big factor, which led to a sharp decline in retail jobs.
- Earlier this week,a report from financial analysts: Credit-Suisse showed about 2,880 stores closures so far this year, more than double the same period in 2016.
- With 60% percent of store closures typically announced in the first five months of the year, Credit-Suisse estimates there could be more than 8,640 store closings by the end of the year!
Other big retail closings:
- Macy’s is closing 68 stores, cutting 10,000 jobs.
- C. Penney will close 138 stores by the second quarter
- Pay-less Shoes –declared Chapter 11 Bankruptcy earlier this week – set to close 400 stores
- Footlocker– to close 100 stores
- CVS– to close 70 stores
- Office Depot– to close 75 store
- Staples– to close 70 stores
- Pier One Imports– to close 100 stores by 2019
See more from CNBC below on what March’s poor jobs reports means to the economy.
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