The US economy added 303,000 jobs last month, far exceeding expectations

The US economy added 303,000 jobs last month, far exceeding expectations
Silhouette of passengers waiting for an L train in Chicago against the sunset at Addison Station, in September 2019. November 19, 2022. Kiichiro Sato/AP

Fewer people are leaving their jobs: Bureau of Labor Statistics data released Tuesday showed that the February quit rate (voluntary separation as a percentage of employment) remained low. High smoking cessation rates are typically associated with rising wages and price inflation pressures.

Meanwhile, layoff activity did not increase.

Last month, the number of job cuts announced by U.S.-based companies remained mostly flat with activity in March 2023, according to new data released Thursday from outsourcing and research firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Layoff announcements last month rose about 7%. However, this is only a 0.7% increase year over year, according to Challenger.

During the first quarter of this year, layoff announcements were down 5% from the first three months of 2023.

“Many companies appear to be returning to the approach of doing more with less,” Andy Challenger, senior vice president of Challenger Gray & Christmas, said in a statement. “While technology continues to lead all industries so far this year, many industries, including energy and industrial manufacturing, will cut more jobs this year than last.”

The latest weekly jobless claims released Thursday by the Labor Department showed that initial claims for unemployment benefits rose to a nine-week high of 221,000, slightly above expectations. However, the number of people who were already receiving unemployment benefits fell by 19,000 to 1.79 million.

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