The March jobs report showed tell-tale signs that the factory sector is struggling and the broader economy is feeling the impact. Private sector job growth slowed to the weakest pace since December of 2013, as manufacturing employment fell into contraction. While some economists will be quick to attribute this to port disruptions and weather, it is the view of Bloomberg Economics that this is the broader impact from a stronger dollar hurting the export sector as well as domestic industry.
Plenty of other data series have supported this notion recently. The downshift in service sector hiring provides a troubling sign that if the factory sector stumbles, it risks dragging many service sector categories with it -- the broader economy will not be able to remain immune. In the bigger picture, this may serve as a wakeup call to policy makers who have been dismissive of the impact of the strong dollar on portions of the economy outside of the export sector.