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Friday, April 1, 2016

March 2016 Unemployment Rate, Jobs

The March 2016 Jobs numbers and unemployment reports were released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on April 1st, 2016.  The April numbers will be released Friday morning, May 6th.    

 

March highlights:
  • Payroll jobs increased by +215,000 and the unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 5.0% as about 400,000 people entered the job market (meaning that they started working or started looking for work).  That is a NET number. 
  • +195,000 new private sector jobs; +20,000 government jobs, almost all in local government but not education. 
  • Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 209,000 per month.  
  • Also, there are about 1.9 million more people who have entered the job market over the past 4 months, with about 1.9 million more people employed over the past 4 months.  This means that people are looking for jobs and finding them.
  • The BLS changed their January and February estimates slightly.  January numbers were decreased slightly from 172,000 to 168,000 and February numbers were increased slightly from 242,000 to 245,000.
  • As a result of more people in the labor force, the labor force participation rate increased very slightly from 62.9% to 63.0%.
  • The number of people not in the labor force (people in school, people retired, people home with children, etc.) decreased for the fourth month in a row as people returned to work.  It is now 93,482,000. 
  • The alternate unemployment rate increased very slightly to 9.8% from 9.7%, reflecting the slight increase in the regular (U-3) unemployment rate.  
  • As mentioned above, the labor force participation rate has been increasing as more people go back to work, and it is now at 63.0%, the highest it has been in about 3 years.  Year over year, we have about 2.4 million MORE people in the labor force.  Remember that there is NO ideal labor force size, and most of the overall decrease in the labor force participation RATE over the last few years has been due to Baby Boomers retiring in great numbers.
  • The overall number of people employed increased by  246,000.
  • The number of people working full-time increased by 241,000 last month; the number of people working part-time decreased by about 35,000 last month. There are 2.5 million MORE people working full-time than there were a year ago, and 525,000 MORE people working part-time than a year ago.


The pundits were expecting continued good job growth, in the vicinity of 200,000 new jobs.  The ADP report, which was released Wednesday, March 30th, showed an increase of 200,000 private sector jobs.  In the ADP report, Mark Zandi made the following comments:  

Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, said, “The job market continues on its amazing streak. The March job gain of 200,000 is consistent with average monthly job growth of the past more than four years. The only industry reducing payrolls is energy as has been the case for over a year. All indications are that the job machine will remain in high gear.

March 2016 reports: (As usual, notation on the links will be changed to "UPDATED for March" when the updated reports become available later today or over the weekend.  Not all reports are updated every month.) 

More highlights and reports will continue to be posted here throughout the day and over the weekend.  Please check back!

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