US job creation tumbles in March despite Donald Trump's promises to boost employment

The president vowed to create 25m jobs within the decade

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The Independent US

Donald Trump’s promise to be a major creator of new jobs is facing fresh pressure as figures showed the economy added just 98,000 positions last month, a sharp tumble following two strong months in January and February.  

Economists had reportedly expected a fall in hiring in March after job gains in January and February had averaged a robust 237,000. Those increases had been fuelled partly by strong hiring in construction, which occurred because of unseasonably warm winter weather.

The Associated Press said construction firms added 6,000 jobs in March, the fewest in seven months. Retailers, fighting off the challenge of online shopping, cut 30,000 jobs. Education and health care services added the fewest jobs in 15 months.

Throughout the election campaign, Mr Trump promised to be a president who created millions of jobs. During his inaugural address on January 20, he said he would add 25m jobs over the next decade - more even that Bill Clinton managed to create during the boom years of the 1990s.

“We will bring back our jobs. We will bring back our borders. We will bring back our wealth, and we will bring back our dreams,” said Mr Trump.

“Rusted out factories are scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation The wealth of our middle class has been ripped from our homes and redistributed all cross the world.”

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Kully Samra, UK Managing Director at Charles Schwab, said that strong results in January and February, were boosted by better weather.  Conversely, March has been impacted negatively by the reverse,” he said.

“However, one slightly disappointing month does not constitute a wholesale change in fortunes. We’ll need to see more hard data before we know whether these numbers are the start of a downward trend away from the strong jobs market or merely a temporary blip on the radar.”

The data released by the US Department of Labour, also showed that the country’ unemployment rate fell to a nearly seven-year low of 4.5 per cent.

The rate fell because nearly a 500,000 more Americans reported finding jobs.

“The March non-farm payrolls number was a phenomenal miss and will add to market uncertainty following the Syria missile strikes,” says Marcus Bullus, trading director at MB Capital. “Very few traders saw this one coming”.

Consumer and business sentiment has soared since the November presidential election, but the increased optimism has not yet accelerated growth, said the AP.

Consumers actually slowed their spending in January and February, when adjusted for inflation. Any such pullback tends to exert a drag because consumers account for about 70 per cent of the economy.