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The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently reported that the total non-farm payroll increased by 196,000 jobs in March, with the months of January and February revised up by a combined 14,000, leading to the average monthly job gain over the course of 2019 sitting at 180,000 per month. The national unemployment rate also remained unchanged at 3.8 percent, after changing between 4.1 at the highest and 3.7 at lowest over the past 12 months.

Among the nation’s industries, the biggest changes in employment sectors in March were:

Healthcare: +49,000

Professional and Technical Services: +34,000

Food and Beverage Services: +27,000

Manufacturing: -6,000

Employment in other major industries, including mining, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information technology, financial services, and government showed little change over the month.

The report from the BLS shows that among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates were:

Adult Men: 3.6 percent

Adult Women: 3.3 percent

Teenagers: 12.8 percent

Caucasians: 3.4 percent

African-Americans: 6.7 percent

Asians: 3.1 percent

Hispanics: 4.7 percent

In March, the number of long-term unemployed, those who have remained jobless for 27 weeks or more, was essentially unchanged at 1.3 million and accounted for 21.1 percent of the unemployed.

The labor force participation rate, at 63 percent, was little changed over the month and has shown little movement over the past 12 months.
The employment-population ratio was 60.6 percent in March and has been either 60.6 percent or 60.7 percent since October 2018.

The average workweek for all employees on non-farm payrolls increased by 0.1 hour to 34.5 hours in March, offsetting a decline of 0.1 hour in February.

Average hourly earnings also benefited in March. Non-farm payrolls increased by four cents to $27.70, following a 10-cent gain in February. Over the course of the last 12 months, average hourly earnings in non-farm positions have increased by 3.2 percent.

The Atlanta Federal Reserve’s GDPNow economic forecasting model shows that U.S. gross domestic product growth for the remainder of the first financial quarter currently sits at 2.1 percent.