Friday, April 01, 2016

March Employment Report: 215,000 Jobs, 5.0% Unemployment Rate

by Bill McBride on 4/01/2016 08:42:00 AM

From the BLS:

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 215,000 in March, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 5.0 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in retail trade, construction, and health care. Job losses occurred in manufacturing and mining.
...
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for January was revised from +172,000 to +168,000, and the change for February was revised from +242,000 to +245,000. With these revisions, employment gains in January and February combined were 1,000 less than previously reported.
...
In March, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 7 cents to $25.43, following a 2-cent decline in February. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.3 percent.
emphasis added
Payroll jobs added per monthClick on graph for larger image.

The first graph shows the monthly change in payroll jobs, ex-Census (meaning the impact of the decennial Census temporary hires and layoffs is removed - mostly in 2010 - to show the underlying payroll changes).

Total payrolls increased by 215 thousand in March (private payrolls increased 230 thousand).

Payrolls for January and February were revised down slightly by a combined 1 thousand.

Year-over-year change employmentThis graph shows the year-over-year change in total non-farm employment since 1968.

In March, the year-over-year change was 2.80 million jobs.  A solid gain.


The third graph shows the employment population ratio and the participation rate.

Employment Pop Ratio, participation and unemployment rates The Labor Force Participation Rate increased in March to 63.0%. This is the percentage of the working age population in the labor force.   A large portion of the recent decline in the participation rate is due to demographics.

The Employment-Population ratio increased to 59.9% (black line).

I'll post the 25 to 54 age group employment-population ratio graph later.

unemployment rateThe fourth graph shows the unemployment rate.

The unemployment rate was increased in March to 5.0%.

This was slightly above expectations of 210,000 jobs, and is another strong report.

I'll have much more later ...