Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by more than 200,000 in March, and the unemployment rate changed little at 3.5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported April 7. The number of unemployed persons, at 5.8 million, also changed little in March. These measures have shown little net movement since early 2022.
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 236,000 in March, compared with the average monthly gain of 334,000 over the prior 6 months. Employment continued to trend up in leisure and hospitality (+72,000), government (+47,000), professional and business services (+39,000), health care (+34,000), social assistance (+17,000), and transportation and warehousing (+10,000). Employment in retail trade decreased slightly in March (-15,000) while employment showed little change over the month in other major industries.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for Hispanics decreased to 4.6 percent in March, essentially offsetting an increase in the prior month. The unemployment rates for adult men (3.4 percent), adult women (3.1 percent), teenagers (9.8 percent), Whites (3.2 percent), Blacks (5.0 percent), and Asians (2.8 percent) showed little or no change over the month.
Among the unemployed, the number of permanent job losers increased by 172,000 to 1.6 million in March, and the number of reentrants to the labor force declined by 182,000 to 1.7 million. (Reentrants are persons who previously worked but were not in the labor force prior to beginning their job search.)
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 1.1 million in March. These individuals accounted for 18.9 percent of all unemployed persons.
The labor force participation rate, at 62.6 percent, continued to trend up in March. The employment-population ratio edged up over the month to 60.4 percent. These measures remain below their pre-pandemic February 2020 levels (63.3 percent and 61.1 percent, respectively).
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons was essentially unchanged at 4.1 million in March. These individuals, who would have preferred full- time employment, were working part time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs.
The number of persons not in the labor force who currently want a job was little changed at 4.9 million in March and has returned to its February 2020 level. These individuals were not counted as unemployed because they were not actively looking for work during the 4 weeks preceding the survey or were unavailable to take a job.
Among those not in the labor force who wanted a job, the number of persons marginally attached to the labor force was little changed at 1.3 million in March. These individuals wanted and were available for work and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months but had not looked for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. The number of discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believed that no jobs were available for them, also was little changed over the month at 351,000.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
From WCI's HR Answers Now ©2023 CCH Incorporated and its affiliates. All rights reserved.
Tags: Employers' Blog Posts