Jobs numbers disappoint

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 192,000 in March, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

Employment grew in professional and business services, in health care, and in mining and logging. Household Survey Data In March, the number of unemployed persons was essentially unchanged at 10.5 million, and the unemployment rate held at 6.7 percent. Both measures have shown little movement since December 2013.

Over the year, the number of unemployed persons and the unemployment rate were down by 1.2 million and 0.8 percentage point, respectively.  Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for adult women increased to 6.2 percent in March, and the rate for adult men decreased to 6.2 percent. The rates for teenagers (20.9 percent), whites (5.8 percent), blacks (12.4 percent), and Hispanics (7.9 percent) showed little or no change. The jobless rate for Asians was 5.4 percent (not seasonally adjusted), little changed from a year earlier. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more), at 3.7 million, changed little in March; these individuals accounted for 35.8 percent of the unemployed.

The number of long-term unemployed was down by 837,000 over the year. Both the civilian labor force and total employment increased in March. The labor force participation rate (63.2 percent) and the employment-population ratio (58.9 percent) changed little over the month. The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed at 7.4 million in March. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find full-time work.

In March, 2.2 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, little changed from 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 4 weeks preceding the survey. Among the marginally attached, there were 698,000 discouraged workers in March, down slightly 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 for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.  Establishment Survey Data Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 192,000 in March. Job growth averaged 183,000 per month over the prior 12 months.

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