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March Employment Report: 431 thousand Jobs, 3.6% Unemployment Rate

From the BLS:
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 431,000 in March, and the unemployment rate declined to 3.6 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Notable job gains continued in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, retail trade, and manufacturing.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for January was revised up by 23,000, from +481,000 to +504,000, and the change for February was revised up by 72,000, from +678,000 to +750,000. With these revisions, employment in January and February combined is 95,000 higher than previously reported.
emphasis added

Click on graph for larger image.

The first graph shows the job losses from the start of the employment recession, in percentage terms.

The current employment recession was by far the worst recession since WWII in percentage terms.

However, 25 months after the onset of the current employment recession, almost all of the jobs have returned.

The second graph shows the year-over-year change in total non-farm employment since 1968.

In March, the year-over-year change was 6.5 million jobs.  This was up significantly year-over-year.

Total payrolls increased by 431 thousand in March.  Private payrolls increased by 426 thousand, and public payrolls increased 5 thousand.

Payrolls for January and February were revised up 95 thousand, combined.

The third graph shows the employment population ratio and the participation rate.

The Labor Force Participation Rate increased to 62.4% in March, from 62.3% in February. This is the percentage of the working age population in the labor force.

The Employment-Population ratio increased to 60.1% from 59.9% (blue line).


I’ll post the 25 to 54 age group employment-population ratio graph later.

The fourth graph shows the unemployment rate.

The unemployment rate decreased in March to 3.6% from 3.8% in February.

This was slightly below consensus expectations; however, January and February payrolls were revised up by 95,000 combined.  

I’ll have more later …

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