AUG: +151,000 jobs. Unemployment rate steady at 4.9%. AUG details here!.. Jobs since Obama took office?... Unemp. rate under Obama?

Friday, April 3, 2015

How Many Jobs Were Created or Lost in March 2015? Full-time? Part-time?

How Many Jobs Were Created (Gained) or Lost by firms, companies, or government employers in the U.S. in March 2015?

  • 126,000 TOTAL payroll jobs were ADDED or CREATED in seasonally adjusted numbers.  This number was about half of what was projected, but it is still an increase in the number of jobs.
  • 129,000 PRIVATE payroll sector jobs were ADDED or CREATED in seasonally adjusted numbers.
  • 3,000 GOVERNMENT (federal, state, and local) jobs were LOST in February. 
  • 34,000 MORE people employed.
  • 190,000 MORE people employed full-time. 
  • 170,000 FEWER people employed part-time.
  • 70,000 MORE people employed part-time involuntarily.  (In other words, people who want full-time work but can only find part-time work.)  Though this number increased this month, it has generally been going down.  In the past year, it has decreased by 744,000.
  • 130,000 FEWER people unemployed.
  • Unemployment rate stayed the same at 5.5% primarily due to a decrease in the number of people who are unemployed (not working AND actively looking for work).
  • The alternate unemployment rate decreased to 11.0% from 10.9%. 
  • 96,000 FEWER people in the civilian labor force (people either working or looking for work).  Why did these people leave the labor force?  Continue reading below...

But how many jobs were LOST in March?

In NET numbers, NO jobs were lost in March 2015. 

All jobs numbers reported monthly by Bureau of Labor Statistics are NET jobs numbers.  In other words, they represent the number of jobs gained (newly created jobs) after all job losses are subtracted.  If there are job gains, that means that there are more new jobs, more people being hired, than people being fired or jobs being cut.

If there are jobs losses, that means that there are fewer new jobs, fewer people being hired, than people being fired or jobs being cut.

Every month since September 2010, we have had more new jobs created than jobs lost.  This is the longest period of consecutive job growth since these records have been kept.   

The more specific numbers of new hires and number of jobs cut are detailed in the monthly Job Openings, Layoffs, and Turnover Survey (JOLTS) which is published about six weeks after the monthly jobs reports.  This link "How Many People were fired in 2014?" provides a more in-depth explanation of how many people lose their jobs and how many people get new jobs every month.  For example, in 2014 over 55,000 people were fired or laid off on average each DAY... but an average of 160,000 people were HIRED each DAY in 2014.

Did people leave the labor force in despair, discouragement, and misery?

The labor force in the United States is huge and volatile.  Millions of people enter and leave the labor force every month in the United States; you can find more specifics HERE. 

But here's what happened to people in March:

  • In February, there were 157,002,000 people in the civilian labor force.
  • 2,288,000 who were not in the labor force in February entered the labor force and started LOOKING FOR WORK in March.
  • 4,221,000 who were not in the labor force in February entered the labor force and started WORKING in March. 
  • Meanwhile, 2,226,000 people who had been looking for work in February STOPPED LOOKING FOR WORK and left the labor force in March.  As the weather was cold in February and into March, it is possible that some of these people decided to postpone their work search until the weather improved; however, this is the lowest number of unemployed people DROPPING OUT of the labor force in any March of the past 7 years. 
  • And 4,430,000 people who had been employed in February STOPPED WORKING (and were not looking for work) in March.  A big chunk of these people probably retired, though we don't know that for sure.  This is the highest number of employed people who stopped working and left the labor force in March of any year EVER.  
  • For every unemployed person who "gave up" for some reason and stopped looking for work and left the labor force, there were approximately TWO EMPLOYED people who left their jobs and left the labor force.  
  • These numbers, plus adjustments for relatively small numbers of people turning 16, people dying, people leaving or entering the country, resulted in a slightly smaller labor force of 156,906,000 in March.  However, there are still about 700,000 more people in the labor force this March than a year ago.   
To Summarize:  

In summary, there are more newly-created payroll jobs and more people employed in March, but not as many newly-created jobs as there were in January or February, and not as many as was predicted.  There was a big jump in the number of employed people working full-time and a big decline in the number of employed people working part-time.  

The unemployment rate stayed the same as the number of unemployed people decreased.  The numbers of unemployed people who stopped looking for work in March may have been influenced by the continuing cold weather in early March in the Northeast and Midwest.

As usual, the numbers in any one month need to be taken with a grain of salt, as any movements in any one month are not necessarily trends.

However, we have now had 61 consecutive months of private sector job creation, a record as long as such numbers have been kept.  


  1. Incorrect. The CES jobs growth started October of 2010 - using the original Employment Statistics data. They revised out one month for Bush which broke his streak years after leaving office. The Current Population Survey data had seasonally adjusted job losses just this past Winter.

    1. Notice that I said PRIVATE sector job growth creation, which is a record as long as these numbers have been kept. You've got a lot of information there for me to debunk; I hope I'll be able to get to it in the next day or two. Basically the data is only "manufactured" if you don't understand it. Do you understand anything about jobs numbers revisions... . that basically, as more complete data comes in from employers, the jobs numbers are revised? Since those are the same numbers that are used to calculate how much an employer is paying in unemployment insurance taxes, why would employers lie and pad the numbers they send to the feds? Or are you saying that somebody sits in the BLS and just changes those numbers as they come in from employers?
      Looking at the original BLS reports issued in 2003 and 2007, I only see one month in which an original positive change in the number of jobs has since been revised to a negative change in the number of jobs in total.. I haven't yet gone back to compare the various revisions just in private job numbers. In terms of 2010, the original changes in total jobs were positive for October, November, and December 2010, and the latest revisions show those numbers as still positive. So, no matter what numbers you are using, we still have 54 months of positive growth in total jobs. We never got past 46 during the Bush years. More tomorrow, hopefully.
      And, by the way, are you aware that the BLS was under the direction of a Bush-appointed director until some time in 2012? So.. why would that Bush appointee have any interest in fixing those jobs numbers to make Obama and the Dems look good? Especially with an election in fall of 2012?

    2. Jack, the CPS numbers, the number of people "working" comes from a survey conducted by the Census of PEOPLE vs. the CES numbers, which comes from a survey of employers. Not only that, but the CES numbers are later benchmarked to numbers that, as I mentioned in my other reply, come from employers who report their employment numbers to the feds for purposes of determining federal unemployment insurance taxes.

      The CES sample is a larger sample than the CPS sample. As a result, the CES numbers are generally more accurate and much less volatile than the CPS numbers. But the CPS numbers include people who are self-employed and people working on farms, so they actually represent a greater number of people. I'm not sure I made that clear enough. CES= bigger sample, but CPS= more people represented.

      As a whole, over the last 65 years, as people moved off of farms and as there was less self-employment in the nation, the number of jobs in the CES numbers as a percentage of the number of people employed in the CPS numbers has increased. That percentage used to be in the mid 70's in the late 1940's, now the percentage is in the mid 90's.

      But the percentage also goes down when the economy is not doing that well, and the percentage goes up when the economy is doing better. When the economy is bad, companies lay people off. Many people turn to self-employment to try to earn a few bucks. When the economy starts to get better, those self-employed people are often the first to be re-hired so the percentage of people employed to people working (including self-employment) goes up. The CES to CPS percentage peaked in 1999 in the 97% range. It fell until 2004-2005 and then started to increase again. It meandered in the 94% range until late 2007 when it started to fall into the 93% range as the economy faltered. Starting in 2011, as the economy continued to improve, it moved into the 94% range, and now it is in the 95% range. It hasn't been in the low 95% range since late 2002/early 2003. Anyway, there is a rhyme, reason, or pattern to the differences between the CES and the CPS numbers.

      The number of people working (CPS) is very volatile. Unlike the CES numbers, which tend to go consistently up or down depending on the economy as a whole, the CPS numbers will show a few positive numbers in bad years and a few negative numbers in good years. We simply don't have a run of more than 12-14 months of increases in the number of "people working" (CPS).

      The number of people working (CPS) did not have seasonal losses last winter. The last drop in the CPS number was a year ago. Now the number of people reporting themselves as working full-time has decreased last November. But, despite the monthly variations, we still have 3 million MORE people working full-time now vs. a year ago. We have 300,000 FEWER people working part-time now vs. a year ago.


I appreciate intelligent comments and questions, including those that are at odds with anything posted here. I have elected not to screen comments before they are published; however, any comments that are in any way insulting, caustic, or intentionally inflammatory will be deleted without notice. Spam will also be immediately deleted.