Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 216,000 in March, and the unemployment rate stands at 8.8%, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Revisions for January and February were very small (adding 5,000 jobs to the January totals and 2,000 to February). Since a recent low in February 2010, total payroll employment has grown by 1.5 million.
This is more good news though the economy needs to add jobs more quickly to make a significant dent in the jobs lost since the misdeeds of large financial institutions precipitated the credit crisis and threw so many people out of work.
Job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, leisure and hospitality, and mining. Employment in manufacturing continued to trend up.
Household Survey Data
The number of unemployed persons (13.5 million) and the unemployment rate (8.8%) changed little in March. Since November 2010, the jobless rate has declined 100 basis points. Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates are, for adult men, 8.6%; adult women, 7.7%; and for teenagers 24.5%.
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was 6.1 million in March; their share of the unemployed increased from 43.9 to 45.5% over the month. In November of 2010 they accounted for 41.9% of the unemployed. In March of 2010 there were 6.5 million, which was 44.1% of all unemployed.
In March, the civilian labor force participation rate held at 64.2%, which was down from 64.9% in March of 2010, and 65.8% in April of 2009.
Establishment Survey Data
Health care employment continued to increase in March, adding 37,000 jobs. Over the last 12 months, health care has added 283,000 jobs, an average of 24,000 jobs per month.
Manufacturing employment also continued to trend up in March, adding 17,000 jobs. Job gains were concentrated in two durable goods industries–fabricated metal products (+8,000) and machinery (+5,000). Employment in durable goods manufacturing has risen by 243,000 since its most recent low in December 2009.
Employment in local government continued to trend down over the month. Local government has lost 416,000 jobs since an employment peak in September 2008.
The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.3 hours in March. The manufacturing workweek for all employees edged down by 0.1 hour to 40.5 hours, while factory overtime was unchanged at 3.3 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.1 hour to 33.6 hours.
In March, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls were unchanged at $22.87. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 1.7%. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees edged down by 2 cents over the month to $19.30.