Economic News Release

Commissioner's Statement on The Employment Situation

Advance copies of this statement are made available to the press 
under lock-up conditions with the explicit understanding that 
the data are embargoed until 8:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time.


                          Statement of

                        Erica L. Groshen
                          Commissioner
                   Bureau of Labor Statistics

                     Friday, April 1, 2016


      Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 215,000 in March, 
and the unemployment rate was little changed at 5.0 percent. Job 
growth occurred in retail trade, construction, and health care. 
Employment fell in manufacturing and mining.

      Incorporating revisions for January and February, which 
reduced nonfarm payroll employment by 1,000 on net, monthly job 
gains have averaged 209,000 over the past 3 months. In the 12 
months prior to March, employment growth averaged 223,000 per 
month.

      In March, retail trade employment rose by 48,000. Job 
growth occurred in general merchandise stores (+12,000), health 
and personal care stores (+10,000), building material and garden 
supply stores (+10,000), and auto dealers (+5,000). Over the 
year, retail trade has added 378,000 jobs.

      Employment in construction rose by 37,000 over the month 
and is up by 301,000 over the year. Residential specialty trade 
contractors continued to add jobs in March (+12,000). Employment 
in this industry has risen by 135,000 over the year, 
representing almost half of the job growth in construction. 
Elsewhere in construction, employment in heavy and civil 
engineering construction increased by 11,000 over the month.

      Health care employment rose by 37,000 in March. Both 
ambulatory health care services (+27,000) and hospitals 
(+10,000) added jobs. Over the year, health care employment has 
increased by 503,000.

      Over the month, employment continued to trend up in food 
services and drinking places (+25,000) and in financial 
activities (+15,000). 

      In March, employment in professional and business services 
changed little for the third month in a row. In 2015, the 
industry added an average of 52,000 jobs per month. Within the 
industry, employment in professional and technical services 
continued to trend up over the month (+14,000). Temporary help 
services employment has shown little change in recent months.

      Manufacturing employment fell by 29,000 in March. Job 
losses were concentrated in durable goods manufacturing 
industries, including machinery (-7,000), primary metals 
(-3,000), and semiconductors and electronic components (-3,000). 
Since reaching a recent employment peak in March 2015, durable 
goods manufacturing has lost 68,000 jobs.

      Employment in mining declined by 12,000 in March, primarily 
in support activities for mining (-10,000). Since a recent peak 
in September 2014, mining employment has fallen by 185,000. More 
than three-fourths of the job losses over this period have been 
in support activities for mining. 

      Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm 
payrolls rose by 7 cents in March to $25.43. Over the past 12 
months, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.3 percent. From 
February 2015 to February 2016, the Consumer Price Index for All 
Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 1.0 percent (on a 
seasonally adjusted basis).

      Turning now to data from the survey of households, both the 
unemployment rate, at 5.0 percent, and the number of unemployed, 
at 8.0 million, changed little in March. These measures have 
shown little movement since August. Among the unemployed in 
March, 2.2 million, or 27.6 percent, had been jobless for 27 
weeks or more.

      The labor force participation rate, at 63.0 percent, and 
the employment-population ratio, at 59.9 percent, were little 
changed in March. Both measures are up by 0.6 percentage point 
since September.

      Among those employed, the number working part time for 
economic reasons, also referred to as involuntary part-time 
workers, was 6.1 million in March. This measure has shown little 
movement since November. (Involuntary part-time workers are 
those who would have preferred full-time employment but were 
working part time because their hours had been cut back or 
because they were unable to find full-time work.)

      Among people who were neither working nor looking for work 
in March, 1.7 million were classified as marginally attached to 
the labor force, down from 2.1 million a year earlier. The 
number of discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally 
attached who believed that no jobs were available for them, was 
585,000 in March, down from 738,000 a year earlier. (The 
marginally attached are individuals who had not looked for work 
in the 4 weeks prior to the survey but wanted a job, were 
available for work, and had looked for a job within the last 12 
months.)

      In summary, nonfarm payroll employment increased by 215,000 
in March, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 5.0 
percent.



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Last Modified Date: April 01, 2016
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