Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 216,000 in March, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 8.8%, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported recently. 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. The labor force also was little changed over the month. Since November 2010, the jobless rate has declined by 1.0 percentage point.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (8.6%), adult women (7.7%), teenagers (24.5%), whites (7.9%), blacks (15.5%), and Hispanics (11.3%) showed little change in March. The jobless rate for Asians was 7.1%, not seasonally adjusted.
The number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs, at 8.2 million, was little changed in March but has fallen by 1.3 million since November 2010. 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 March, the civilian labor force participation rate held at 64.2%, and the employment population ratio, at 58.5%, changed little.
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed in March, at 8.4 million. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.
In March, 2.4 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, up slightly from a year earlier. (These data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.
Among the marginally attached, there were 921,000 discouraged workers in March, little changed from a year earlier. (These data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.5 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in March had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.