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American employers shed 701k jobs in March

American employers shed 701k jobs in March

The U.S. jobs report released on Friday showed that American employers cut more than forecast jobs in March, while the unemployment rate climbed.  

Analysts predicted a job cut of 100,000, compared to the actual reading of 701,000 shed jobs, while the previous reading of 273,000 jobs was revised up to 275,000 job-gain in February.

The unemployment rate soared from its record low of 3.5 percent to 4.4 percent, compared to analysts’ projections of 3.8 percent.   

The average hourly earnings, however, surged 0.4 percent last month after a 0.2 percent increase in February, compared to estimates of 0.3 percent surge. The annual earnings growth rose to 3.1 percent from 3.0 percent.

While the downbeat figures largely reflect the hard hit of the coronavirus on the U.S. labor market, it is important to note that NFP data was collected in the middle of last month, before many layoffs, so there could be much worse to come.

Data released on Thursday showed that initial jobless claims climbed to a record high of 6.6 million in the week ended March 28, beating forecasts of 3.6 million.

The dollar index, which tracks the movements of the green currency versus a basket of major currencies, traded higher at 100.76, set for a weekly gain, but it snapped some of the gains, as of 12:42 GMT.

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