The employment picture got a little clearer this morning after the Labor Department reported that there were 192,000 new jobs created in March, which was just below the 195,000 that was expected. The harsh winter weather kept job creations low in December, January and early February averaging 144,000 per month. Now that spring is in the air, employers may begin to ramp up hiring efforts.
The March Jobs Report also revealed that the Unemployment Rate held steady at 6.7% as more people tried to enter the labor force. The Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR), which measures the proportion of working-age Americans who have a job or are looking for one, rose to 63.2% from 63.%. The report said that every industry except manufacturing added jobs.
With the spring home buying season upon us, the market is seeing too few people are selling homes, and too few buyers can afford the homes that are for sale. In addition, higher home prices and all cash buyers are squeezing first time home buyers. The one bright point in the equation – lenders are easing the tight money lending standards that have been seen in the past few years as qualifying for a home loan could get a little easier.