U.S. Adds 88,000 Jobs in March; Unemployment Rate Dips

Washington — April 5

Nonfarm payroll employment edged up 88,000 in March and the unemployment rate was little changed at 7.6 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. Employment grew in professional and business services and in health care but declined in retail trade.

Both the number of unemployed people, at 11.7 million, and the unemployment rate, at 7.6 percent, changed little in March.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (6.9 percent), adult women (7 percent), teenagers (24.2 percent), whites (6.7 percent), blacks (13.3 percent), and Hispanics (9.2 percent) showed little or no change in March. The jobless rate for Asians was 5 percent, little changed from a year earlier.

In March, the number of long-term unemployed — those jobless for 27 weeks or more — was little changed at 4.6 million. These individuals accounted for 39.6 percent of the unemployed.

The civilian labor force declined by 496,000 over the month, and the labor force participation rate decreased by 0.2 percentage points, to 63.3 percent. The employment-population ratio, at 58.5 percent, changed little.

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons — sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers — fell by 350,000 over the month, to 7.6 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, 2.3 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force — essentially unchanged from a year earlier. 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.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics