Commissioner's Statement on the Employment Situation News Release

Advance copies of this statement are made available to the press
under lock-up conditions with the explicit understanding that the
data are embargoed until 8:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time.
                                
                          Statement of
                                
                           Keith Hall
                          Commissioner                                
                   Bureau of Labor Statistics

                           before the
                   Joint Economic Committee
                    UNITED STATES CONGRESS                                                               
                     Friday, April 1, 2011


Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee:

      Thank you for the opportunity to discuss the employment 
and unemployment data we released this morning.
      
      In March, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 216,000, and 
private-sector employment rose by 230,000.  The unemployment 
rate was little changed at 8.8 percent; the rate has declined 
by one percentage point since November 2010.  Since a recent 
low point in February 2010, nonfarm payroll employment has 
risen by 1.5 million.  Private-sector employment rose by 1.8 
million over the same period, an average of 138,000 per month.  
In March, job growth occurred in professional and business 
services, health care, leisure and hospitality, and mining.  
Manufacturing employment continued to trend up over the month.
      
      Professional and business services employment rose by 
78,000 in March.  This industry has added 692,000 jobs since a 
recent low point in September 2009.  In March, employment in 
temporary help services rose by 29,000.  Temporary help 
services has added about a half million jobs since August 
2009.
      
      Employment in health care continued to rise in March 
(+37,000).  The increase was spread among several components, 
including ambulatory health care services (+18,000), hospitals 
(+10,000), and nursing and residential care facilities 
(+9,000).  Since the start of the recent recession in December 
2007, health care employment has risen by 902,000, while total 
nonfarm employment has declined by 7.2 million.
      
      The leisure and hospitality industry added 37,000 jobs in 
March.  Growth in food services and drinking places (+27,000) 
accounted for most of the increase. 
      
      Within goods-producing industries, mining employment rose 
by 14,000 in March, mostly due to an increase in support 
activities for mining (+9,000).  Since a recent low point in 
October 2009, mining employment has risen by 96,000.
      
      Employment in manufacturing continued to trend up in 
March (+17,000).  Factory job gains continued to be 
concentrated in durable goods, with over-the-month increases 
in fabricated metal products (+8,000) and machinery (+5,000).  
Construction employment changed little over the month.
      
      Employment in local government continued to trend down 
over the month (-15,000).  This sector has lost 416,000 jobs 
since its employment peak in September 2008.
      
      Average hourly earnings of all employees on private 
nonfarm payrolls were unchanged in March at $22.87.  Over the 
past 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen by 1.7 
percent.  From February 2010 to February 2011, the Consumer 
Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 2.2 
percent.
      
      Turning to measures from the survey of households, the 
unemployment rate was little changed at 8.8 percent in March.  
The jobless rate has declined by one percentage point since 
November 2010.  Over that period, unemployment declined by 
nearly 1.5 million, and employment rose by 1.4 million, 
leaving the labor force nearly unchanged on net (after 
accounting for the population adjustment in January).
      
      In March, the labor force participation rate held at 64.2 
percent, and the employment-population ratio, at 58.5 percent, 
was little changed.  The number of long-term unemployed 
remained high at 6.1 million, 45.5 percent of total 
unemployment.  Over the month, the number of individuals who 
were working part time although they would have preferred 
full-time work was 8.4 million, down from 9.0 million a year 
earlier.
      
      In summary, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 216,000 in 
March, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 8.8 
percent.
      
      My colleagues and I now would be glad to answer your 
questions.
      
      



Last Modified Date: April 01, 2011