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192,000 jobs added to economy; March unemployment holds at 6.7%

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On Friday the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the March Employment Situation Summary, reporting that the U.S. economy added 192,000 non-farm payroll jobs while the unemployment rate remained at 6.7 percent.

March was the 49th consecutive month of private sector job growth with a total of approximately 8.9 million net jobs gained within the private sector over that period.

The private sector added 192,000 jobs during the month with the largest gains in the professional and business services, the education and health services, the leisure and hospitality sectors and the retail job sectors.

Meanwhile the manufacturing sector was the only sector which had a decline in job growth for the month, albeit a small one. Within the manufacturing sector, the durable goods subsector added 8,000 jobs while the nondurable goods subsector lost 9,000 jobs, over half of which were in food manufacturing.

The government sector was flat on job growth for the month with the federal and state governments shedding jobs and local governments increasing jobs.

The January 2014 and February 2014 net job numbers were both revised upwards from 129,000 to 144,000 and from 175,000 to 197,000, respectively.

While the civilian labor force increased in March, the BLS reported no significant change in the number of long-term unemployed or in the number of involuntary part-time workers. The numbers of marginally attached workers changed little as well compared to a year ago while the number of discouraged workers declined slightly.

Following is an approximate breakdown of net job growth within the major private industry sectors and the government sector for March 2014:

• Construction: +19,000
• Financial Activities: +1,000
• Education and Health Services: +34,000
• Information: +2,000
• Leisure and Hospitality: +29,000
• Manufacturing: -1,000
• Mining and Logging: +7,000
• Other Services: +6,000
• Professional and Business Services: +57,000
• Retail: +21,300
• Transportation and Warehousing: +7,900
• Utilities: +900
• Wholesale Trade: +7,100
• Government: +0

The average work week for private sector non-farm jobs increased by 0.2 hours to 34.5 hours while the manufacturing sector average work week increased by 0.3 hours to 41.1 hours. In March the average hourly earnings for all private non-farm employees dropped slightly by 1 cent to $24.30.

According to the employment summary, over the past year “average hourly earnings have risen by 49 cents, or 2.1 percent.”

In his blog on Friday White House Council of Economic Advisers chairman Jason Furman stated,

“The economy continued to add jobs in March at a pace consistent with job growth over the past year. Additionally, the unemployment rate was steady while the labor force participation rate edged up. While today’s data indicates that the recovery is continuing to unfold, the President still believes further steps must be taken to strengthen growth and boost job creation. In this regard, the Senate’s decision yesterday to move forward with the consideration of a bill to reinstate extended unemployment insurance was an important step in the right direction. In addition to encouraging this and other action in Congress, such as raising the minimum wage and passing the Paycheck Fairness Act, the President will continue to act on his own executive authority wherever possible to expand economic opportunity for American families.”

The “April 2014 Employment Situation Summary” is scheduled to be released by the BLS on Friday, May 2, 2014.

Sources:

Employment Situation Summary.” bls.gov. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 4 April 2014. Web. 4 April 2014.

Furman, Jason. “The Employment Situation in March.” whitehouse.gov. The White House. 4 April 2014. Web. 4 April 2014.

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