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
                                
                        Erica L. Groshen
                          Commissioner                                
                   Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                                                
                      Friday, April 5, 2013


     Nonfarm payroll employment edged up in March (+88,000); job
gains over the prior 12 months had averaged 169,000 per month.
The unemployment rate, at 7.6 percent, changed little in March.
Over the month, employment grew in professional and business
services and in health care but decreased in retail trade.
     
     Employment rose by 51,000 in professional and business
services over the month. Job gains in the prior 12 months had
averaged 44,000 per month. Over the month, employment continued
to trend up throughout most of the sector, including a gain of
11,000 jobs in accounting and bookkeeping services.
     
     Health care employment rose by 23,000 in March, about in
line with the average monthly growth over the prior 12 months. In
March, employment increased by 15,000 in ambulatory health care
services, such as home health care, and by 8,000 in hospitals.
     
     Employment in construction continued to trend up in March
(+18,000), with growth in specialty trade contractors. Job gains
in construction picked up this past fall; since September, the
industry has added 169,000 jobs.
     
     Retail trade employment decreased by 24,000 in March. Job
growth in the industry had averaged 32,000 per month over the
prior 6 months. In March, employment declined in clothing stores,
building material and garden supply stores, and electronics and
appliance stores.
     
     Within government, employment in the U.S. Postal Service
declined by 12,000 in March. Employment in other major industries
showed little change over the month.
     
     Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm
payrolls changed little (+1 cent) in March. Over the past 12
months, average hourly earnings have risen by 42 cents, or 1.8
percent. From February 2012 to February 2013, the Consumer Price
Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 2.0 percent.
     
     Turning now to our survey of households, the unemployment
rate, at 7.6 percent, and the number of unemployed persons, at
11.7 million, were both little changed in March. The labor force
declined by about half a million over the month, and the labor
force participation rate decreased by 0.2 percentage point to
63.3 percent.
     
     The employment-population ratio was about unchanged at 58.5
percent in March. Among the employed, the number working part
time for economic reasons fell by 350,000 to 7.6 million. These
individuals would have preferred full-time employment, but had
their hours cut or were unable to find full-time work.
     
     In summary, nonfarm payroll employment edged up by 88,000 in
March, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 7.6
percent.
     
     

Last Modified Date: April 05, 2013