March Jobs Report: 126,000 Added

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Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

Private sector employment in the United States increased by 126,000 jobs in March while the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.5 percent, according to ‘THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION — MARCH 2015’ released by the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. The most recent jobs report is at http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf.

The March 2015 jobs report revealed the number of unemployed persons dipped to 8.6 million. Over the year, the unemployment rate was down by 1.1 percentage points and the number of unemployed persons was down by 1.8 million.

Over the prior 12 months, the jobs report found employment growth averaged 269,000 per month. In March, employment continued to trend up in professional and business services, health care, retail trade, and food services and drinking places. Among specific industries, the jobs report revealed:

  • Professional and business services employment in increased by 40,000 jobs in March and job growth in the first quarter of 2015 averaged 34,000 per month, below the average monthly gain of 59,000 in 2014.
  • Health care employment rose by 22,000 jobs in March and has added 363,000 jobs over the year.
  • Retail trade employment gained 26,000 jobs in March with 11,000 of those jobs coming from general merchandise stores.
  • Food services and drinking places employment added 9,000 jobs in March following a large increase of 66,000 jobs in the prior month.

Employment in other major industries including construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, and government showed little change over the month. On the negative side, mining employment declined by 11,000 jobs in March and the industry has lost 30,000 jobs so far in 2015.

The jobs report also found the change in total nonfarm payroll employment for January was revised from 239,000 jobs added to 201,000 jobs added while the change for February was revised from 295,000 jobs added to 264,000 jobs added. With these revisions, employment gains in January and February combined were 69,000 less than previously reported. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 197,000 per month.

The Employment Situation for April 2015 is scheduled to be released on Friday, May 8, 2015.

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