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Non-farm payroll employment increased by 162,000 in March, and the unemployment rate held at 9.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on April 5. Temporary help services and health care continued to add jobs over the month. Employment in federal government also rose, reflecting the hiring of temporary workers for Census 2010. Employment continued to decline in financial activities and in information.
Household Survey Data
In March, the number of unemployed persons was little changed at 15.0 million, and the unemployment rate remained at 9.7 percent.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (10.0 percent), adult women (8.0 percent), teenagers (26.1 percent), whites (8.8 percent), blacks (16.5 percent) and Hispanics (12.6 percent) showed little or no change in March. The jobless rate for Asians was 7.5 percent, not seasonally adjusted.
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) increased by 414,000 over the month to 6.5 million. In March, 44.1 percent of unemployed persons were jobless for 27 weeks or more.
The civilian labor force participation rate (64.9 percent) and the employment-population ratio (58.6 percent) continued to edge up in March.
The number of persons working part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) increased to 9.1 million in March. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.
About 2.3 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force in March, compared with 2.1 million a year earlier. (The 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 four weeks preceding the survey.
Among the marginally attached, there were 1.0 million discouraged workers in March, up by 309,000 from a year earlier. (The 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 1.3 million persons marginally attached to the labor force had not searched for work in the four weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.
Establishment Survey Data
In March, non-farm payroll employment rose by 162,000. Job growth continued in temporary help services and in health care. Federal government employment increased due to the hiring of temporary workers for Census 2010. Job losses continued in financial activities and in information.
Temporary help services added 40,000 jobs in March. Since September 2009, temporary help services employment has risen by 313,000.
Employment in health care continued to increase in March (27,000), with the largest gains occurring in ambulatory health care services (16,000) and in nursing and residential care facilities (9,000).
In March, employment in mining increased by 8,000. Monthly job gains in mining have averaged 6,000 over the past five months.
Employment in federal government was up over the month, reflecting the hiring of 48,000 temporary workers for the decennial census.
Manufacturing employment continued to trend up in March (17,000); the industry has added 45,000 jobs in the first three months of 2010. Over the month, job gains were concentrated in fabricated metal products (9,000) and in machinery (6,000).
Employment in construction held steady (15,000) in March. The industry had lost an average of 72,000 jobs per month in the prior 12 months.
Over the month, employment changed little in transportation and warehousing, leisure and hospitality, retail trade, and wholesale trade.
In March, financial activities shed 21,000 jobs, with the largest losses occurring in insurance carriers and related activities (-9,000). Employment in the information industry decreased by 12,000.
The average workweek for all employees on private non-farm payrolls was up by 0.1 hour to 34.0 hours in March. The manufacturing workweek for all employees increased by 0.2 hour to 39.9 hours, and factory overtime was up by 0.1 hour over the month. In March, the average workweek for production and non-supervisory employees on private non-farm payrolls increased by 0.2 hour to 33.3 hours.
In March, average hourly earnings of all employees on private non-farm payrolls fell by 2 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $22.47, following a 4-cent gain in February. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen by 1.8 percent. In March, average hourly earnings of private production and nonsupervisory employees fell by 2 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $18.90.
The change in total non-farm payroll employment for January was revised from -26,000 to +14,000, and the change for February was revised from -36,000 to -14,000.