Employment Situation Summary April 5 2024
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 303,000 in March, and the unemployment rate changed
little at 3.8 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred 
in health care, government, and construction.  

This news release presents statistics from two monthly surveys. The household survey measures
labor force status, including unemployment, by demographic characteristics. The establishment
survey measures nonfarm employment, hours, and earnings by industry. For more information
about the concepts and statistical methodology used in these two surveys, see the Technical
Note.

Household Survey Data

Both the unemployment rate, at 3.8 percent, and the number of unemployed people, at 6.4
million, changed little in March. The unemployment rate has been in a narrow range of 3.7
percent to 3.9 percent since August 2023. (See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for Blacks (6.4 percent) increased in
March, while the rates for Asians (2.5 percent) and Hispanics (4.5 percent) decreased. The
jobless rates for adult men (3.3 percent), adult women (3.6 percent), teenagers (12.6
percent), and Whites (3.4 percent) showed little or no change over the month. (See tables A-1,
A-2, and A-3.)

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more), at 1.2 million, was
little changed in March. The long-term unemployed accounted for 19.5 percent of all unemployed
people. (See table A-12.)

Both the labor force participation rate, at 62.7 percent, and the employment-population ratio,
at 60.3 percent, were little changed in March. These measures showed little change over the
year. (See table A-1.)

The number of people employed part time for economic reasons, at 4.3 million, changed little
in March. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part
time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs. (See
table A-8.)

In March, the number of people not in the labor force who currently want a job, at 5.4
million, was little changed. These individuals were not counted as unemployed because they
were not actively looking for work during the 4 weeks preceding the survey or were unavailable
to take a job. (See table A-1.)

Among those not in the labor force who wanted a job, the number of people marginally attached
to the labor force, at 1.6 million, was little changed in March. These individuals wanted and
were available for work and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months but had not
looked for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. The number of discouraged workers, a
subset of the marginally attached who believed that no jobs were available for them, was
little changed at 337,000 in March. (See Summary table A.)

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 303,000 in March, higher than the average monthly
gain of 231,000 over the prior 12 months. In March, job gains occurred in health care,
government, and construction. (See table B-1.)

Health care added 72,000 jobs in March, above the average monthly gain of 60,000 over the
prior 12 months. In March, job growth continued in ambulatory health care services (+28,000),
hospitals (+27,000), and nursing and residential care facilities (+18,000).

In March, employment in government increased by 71,000, higher than the average monthly gain
of 54,000 over the prior 12 months. Over the month, employment increased in local government
(+49,000) and federal government (+9,000). 

Construction added 39,000 jobs in March, about double the average monthly gain of 19,000 over
the prior 12 months. Over the month, employment increased in nonresidential specialty trade
contractors (+16,000). 

Employment in leisure and hospitality trended up in March (+49,000) and has returned to its
pre-pandemic February 2020 level. Over the prior 12 months, job growth in the industry had
averaged 37,000 per month.

Employment in the other services industry continued its upward trend in March (+16,000). The
industry had added an average of 8,000 jobs per month over the prior 12 months. Employment
in other services remains below its February 2020 level by 40,000, or 0.7 percent.

Employment in social assistance continued to trend up in March (+9,000), below the average
monthly gain of 22,000 over the prior 12 months. 

In March, employment was little changed in retail trade (+18,000). A job gain in general
merchandise retailers (+20,000) was partially offset by job losses in building material and
garden equipment and supplies dealers (-10,000) and in automotive parts, accessories, and tire
retailers (-3,000). 

Employment showed little or no change over the month in other major industries, including 
mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction; manufacturing; wholesale trade; transportation
and warehousing; information; financial activities; and professional and business services. 

In March, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by
12 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $34.69. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have
increased by 4.1 percent. In March, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and
nonsupervisory employees edged up by 7 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $29.79. (See tables B-3 and
B-8.) 

In March, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged up by 0.1
hour to 34.4 hours. In manufacturing, the average workweek was unchanged at 40.0 hours, and
overtime edged down by 0.1 hour to 2.9 hours in March. The average workweek for production and
nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged up by 0.1 hour to 33.9 hours. (See
tables B-2 and B-7.) 

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for January was revised up by 27,000, from
+229,000 to +256,000, and the change for February was revised down by 5,000, from +275,000 to
+270,000. With these revisions, employment in January and February combined is 22,000 higher
than previously reported. (Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from
businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates and from the
recalculation of seasonal factors.)

____________
The Employment Situation for April is scheduled to be released on
Friday, May 3, 2024, at 8:30 a.m. (ET).




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