This morning's non-farm payroll numbers for the month of March were the lowest in 10 months and disappointing to say the least. Only 88,000 new jobs were added for the month on a seasonally-adjusted basis, the smallest increase since June of last year as new hires fell and more people continued to drop out of the labor force. This comes on the heels of this week's ADP employment report and initial jobless claims report, both of which showed a slowdown in the labor market and came in below consensus expectations.
Meanwhile, the unemployment fell from 7.7% to 7.6%, the lowest level since December 2007. While it may appear as a positive overall, the reality is that more people have dropped out of the labor force. The participation rate, which measures the number of working-age people who have or want a job, fell to 63.3%, the lowest level since 1979.