Jobs numbers disappoint

In March, employment grew in professional and business services, in health care, and in mining and logging. Professional and business services added 57,000 jobs in March, in line with its average monthly gain of 56,000 over the prior 12 months. Within the industry, employment increased in March in temporary help services (+29,000), in computer systems design and related services (+6,000), and in architectural and engineering services (+5,000). In March, health care added 19,000 jobs.

Employment in ambulatory health care services rose by 20,000, with a gain of 9,000 jobs in home health care services. Nursing care facilities lost 5,000 jobs over the month. Job growth in health care averaged 17,000 per month over the prior 12 months. Employment in mining and logging rose in March (+7,000), with the bulk of the increase occurring in support activities for mining (+5,000). Over the prior 12 months, the mining and logging industry added an average of 3,000 jobs per month. Employment continued to trend up in March in food services and drinking places (+30,000).

Over the past year, food services and drinking places has added 323,000 jobs. Construction employment continued to trend up in March (+19,000). Over the past year, construction employment has risen by 151,000. Employment in government was unchanged in March. A decline of 9,000 jobs in federal government was mostly offset by an increase of 8,000 jobs in local government, excluding education. Over the past year, employment in federal government has fallen by 85,000. Employment in other major industries, including manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, and financial activities, changed little over the month. The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.2 hour in March to 34.5 hours, offsetting a net decline over the prior 3 months.

The manufacturing workweek rose by 0.3 hour in March to 41.1 hours, and factory overtime rose by 0.1 hour to 3.5 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.3 hour to 33.7 hours. In March, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged down by 1 cent to $24.30, following a 9 cent increase in February. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 49 cents, or 2.1 percent.

In March, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees edged down by 2 cents to $20.47. The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for January was revised from +129,000 to +144,000, and the change for February was revised from +175,000 to +197,000. With these revisions, employment gains in January and February were 37,000 higher than previously reported.

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