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The Employment Situation -- March 2011: Jobs increase, unemployment 8.8 percent


Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 216,000 in March, and the unemployment
rate was little changed at 8.8 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
reported today. 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
percent) 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. (See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (8.6 percent),
adult women (7.7 percent), teenagers (24.5 percent), whites (7.9 percent), blacks
(15.5 percent), and Hispanics (11.3 percent) showed little change in March. The
jobless rate for Asians was 7.1 percent, not seasonally adjusted. (See tables A-1,
A-2, and A-3.)

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 percent
over the month. (See tables A-11 and A-12.)

In March, the civilian labor force participation rate held at 64.2 percent, and the
employment-population ratio, at 58.5 percent, changed little. (See table A-1.)

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. (See table A-8.)

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. (See table A-16.)

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. (See table A-16.)

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 216,000 in March. Job gains occurred
in several service-providing industries and in mining, and manufacturing employment
continued to trend up. Since a recent low in February 2010, total payroll employment
has grown by 1.5 million. (See table B-1.)

In March, employment in the service-providing sector continued to expand, led
by a gain of 78,000 in professional and business services. Most of the gain
occurred in temporary help services (+29,000) and in professional and technical
services (+35,000).

Health care employment continued to increase in March (+37,000). Over the last
12 months, health care has added 283,000 jobs, or an average of 24,000 jobs per

Employment in leisure and hospitality rose by 37,000 over the month, with more than
two-thirds of the increase in food services and drinking places (+27,000).

Manufacturing employment continued to trend up in March (+17,000). Job gains were
concentrated in two durable goods industries--fabricated metal products (+8,000)
and machinery (+5,000). Employment in durable goods manufacturing has risen by
243,000 since its most recent low in December 2009.

In March, employment in mining increased by 14,000, with much of the gain occurring
in support activities for mining (+9,000).

Employment in local government continued to trend down over the month. Local government
has lost 416,000 jobs since an employment peak in September 2008.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at
34.3 hours in March. The manufacturing workweek for all employees edged down by 0.1
hour to 40.5 hours, while factory overtime was unchanged at 3.3 hours. The average
workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls
increased by 0.1 hour to 33.6 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)

In March, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls were
unchanged at $22.87. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased
by 1.7 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory
employees edged down by 2 cents over the month to $19.30. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for January was revised from +63,000
to +68,000, and the change for February was revised from +192,000 to +194,000.

The Employment Situation for April is scheduled to be released on Friday, May 6, 2011,
at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).

The PDF version of the news release Table of Contents Last Modified Date: April 01, 2011
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