On Friday, March 9th, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics published its monthly jobs report with numbers that surprised many economists. Total non-farm employment increased by 313,000, the largest monthly gain in over a year (it was only expected to increase by roughly 200,000). It was the 89th consecutive month of job gains. The main sectors of employment growth were: mining, manufacturing, construction, retail and trade, professional and business services, and financial services. For the fifth consecutive month, the unemployment rate stayed at 4.1%, the lowest rate since 2000.
Many businesses that are either directly or indirectly involved with the aluminum and steel industries could face higher costs, starting next month after the introduction of a tariff on the imported metals. The import tariffs, which currently exempt Mexico and Canada, on aluminum and steel would be 10% and 25%, respectively. Canada and Mexico were two of the top five exporters of steel to the United States in 2017.
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