Commissioner's Statement on the Employment Situation News Release
Last Modified Date: April 02, 2010
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.
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Friday, April 2, 2010
Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 162,000 in March, and the
unemployment rate was 9.7 percent for the third month in a row.
Job gains continued in temporary help services and in health
care, while job losses occurred in financial activities and in
information. The March employment increase also included 48,000
workers hired by the federal government for Census 2010.
Temporary help services employment increased by 40,000 in
March. Since last September, employment in this industry has
grown by 313,000, or 18 percent.
Health care added 27,000 jobs in March, compared with an
average monthly gain of 18,000 over the prior 12 months. Mining
employment rose by 8,000 in March. This industry has added
31,000 jobs since last October.
Federal government employment rose over the month,
reflecting ramped-up hiring for Census 2010. In March, the
Census Bureau brought on 48,000 temporary workers. Employment in
state and local governments was essentially unchanged.
Manufacturing employment continued to trend up in March.
Over the last 3 months, manufacturing has added 45,000 jobs, with
most of the gains in durable goods industries.
Construction employment held steady in March. This industry
had shed an average of 72,000 jobs per month in the prior 12
Employment continued to decline in financial activities
(-21,000) and in information (-12,000) in March. Other major
industries showed little change in employment.
Average hourly earnings of all employees in the private
sector declined by 2 cents in March to $22.47. Over the past 12
months, average hourly earnings have increased by 1.8 percent.
From February 2009 to February 2010, the Consumer Price Index for
All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose by 2.2 percent.
Turning to measures from the survey of households, the
unemployment rate held at 9.7 percent in March. Over the month,
jobless rates for the major worker groups showed little or no
Of the 15.0 million persons unemployed in March, 6.5 million
had been jobless for 27 weeks or more, an increase of 414,000
over the month. These long-term unemployed made up 44.1 percent
of all unemployed persons, a record high.
The employment-population ratio was 58.6 percent in March.
This measure has been trending up since its recent low of 58.2
percent in December. Among the employed, the number of
individuals working part time who preferred full-time work
increased in March to 9.1 million.
In summary, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 162,000 in
March, and the unemployment rate held at 9.7 percent.