Friday, April 4, 2014

Economy Added 192,000 Jobs, With Unemployment Rate Unchanged in March

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 192,000 jobs in March and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. March’s pace is slightly slower than the previous month’s upwardly revised growth. The report included positive upward revisions to January and February, adding a combined 37,000 jobs.

The rebound from the winter weather was slower than expected. The private services industry continued to drive growth increasing job growth by 167,000. The goods producing sector added 25,000 jobs in March, down from the 40,000 jobs added the month prior. Construction gains edged up slightly, adding 19,000 jobs in March, up from 18,000 jobs in February. Government employment was unchanged in March, as the decline of 9,000 jobs in the federal government was offset by an increase of 8,000 jobs in local government.

Unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7% as employment gains were offset by new entrants to the labor force. The labor force participation rate rose slightly to at 63.2%. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) decreased slightly to 3.7 million, down from 3.8 million the prior month.

Prior to Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen’s appointment, the Fed had specific unemployment rate goals to which they attached their plan for tapering the purchase of securities. In the last meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, the board announced that they will form their policy decisions based on a wide range of indicators of the employment situation, dropping their specific unemployment rate target.

Read the BLS report.

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