U.S. employers added 215,000 jobs and wages increased in March, the Labor Department reported Friday, offering signs of the American labor market’s strength against the backdrop of a gloomy global economy.
The unemployment rate ticked up a percentage point, to 5 percent from 4.9 percent the previous two months. But that was a product of more people entering the labor market.
The 215,000 jobs added beat the median forecast of a Bloomberg survey that projected job growth of 205,000. The number is viewed as a signal that American employers are confident despite economic uncertainty elsewhere in the world.
Wages increased 0.3 percent from February.
Payroll growth in construction accelerated in March. Manufacturing employment slumped. Other industries that saw job growth included retail, health care, leisure and hospitality and professional services.