Friday, April 1, 2016

March Jobs Report

The jobs situation seems to have settled into a comfortable groove at this point. According to the March employment report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning, the economy added 215,000 jobs for the month, and has now added an average of 209,000 jobs per month this year. The headline unemployment rate ticked up from 4.9 to 5.0 percent.

Among the industries, retail was the big winner in March, adding 48,000 jobs, the single-largest number of any sector. Over the past 12 months, retail has added 378,000 jobs. Meanwhile, employment in manufacturing declined by 29,000 in March, and mining lost 12,000 jobs. Since reaching a peak in September 2014, employment in mining has decreased by 185,000.

Maybe the best news from this morning is that the labor force participation rate continues to move upward, to 63 percent in March from 62.9 percent in February. It is up 0.6 percentage point since September, meaning more people keep coming into the labor force.

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