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Economic News Release

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
                     Bureau of Labor Statistics

                            before the
                      Joint Economic Committee
                       UNITED STATES CONGRESS
                        Friday, April 4, 2014

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee:

      Thank you for the opportunity to discuss the employment and 
unemployment data we released this morning.
      Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 192,000 in March, and 
the unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7 percent. Employment 
increased in professional and business services, in health care, 
and in mining and logging. 
      Incorporating the revisions for January and February, which 
increased total nonfarm employment by 37,000 on net, monthly job 
gains have averaged 178,000 over the past 3 months. In the 12 
months prior to March, employment growth averaged 183,000 per 
      All of the net job growth in March occurred in the private 
sector, which now has exceeded its employment level in December 
2007, when the most recent recession began. The private sector 
lost 8.8 million jobs during the labor market downturn and has 
gained 8.9 million since the employment low in February 2010. 
However, government employment is down since the recession began 
(-535,000), and therefore total nonfarm employment remains below 
(-422,000) its December 2007 level.
      In March, employment in professional and business services 
rose (+57,000) in line with the prior 12-month average. Within 
the industry, temporary help services added 29,000 jobs in 
March. Employment growth in temporary help services had averaged 
20,000 per month in the prior 12 months.
      Health care employment rose by 19,000 in March, with gains 
in ambulatory health care services (which includes home health 
care and outpatient care centers). In the prior 12 months, job 
growth in health care had averaged 17,000 per month, with most 
of the growth occurring in ambulatory care. In March, nursing 
care facilities lost 5,000 jobs.
      Employment in mining and logging rose by 7,000 in March, 
led by gains in support activities for mining (+5,000). Mining 
and logging has added 38,000 jobs over the year.
      Employment in food services and drinking places continued 
to trend up in March (+30,000). This industry has added 323,000 
jobs over the year.
      Employment continued to trend up in construction in March 
(+19,000) and is up by 151,000 over the past 12 months. 
      Employment in other major industries, including 
manufacturing, wholesale trade, and retail trade, changed little 
in March.
      Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm 
payrolls edged lower by 1 cent in March, after rising by 9 cents 
in February. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings 
have risen by 2.1 percent. From February 2013 to February 2014, 
the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose by 
1.1 percent.
      In March, the average workweek for all employees on private 
nonfarm payrolls increased to 34.5 hours, offsetting a net 
decline over the prior 3 months.
      Turning now to our survey of households, the unemployment 
rate, at 6.7 percent, was unchanged in March, and the number of 
unemployed persons remained at 10.5 million. The number of 
unemployed persons who had been jobless for 27 weeks or more was 
little changed (3.7 million). These individuals accounted for 
35.8 percent of the unemployed.

      Both the civilian labor force and total employment 
increased in March. The labor force participation rate (63.2 
percent) and the employment-population ratio (58.9 percent) 
changed little over the month. 
      Among persons who were neither working nor looking for work 
in March, 2.2 million were classified as marginally attached to 
the labor force, little changed from a year earlier. (These 
individuals had not looked for work in the 4 weeks prior to the 
survey but wanted a job, were available for work, and had looked 
for a job within the last 12 months.) The number of discouraged 
workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believed that 
no jobs were available for them, edged down over the year to 
698,000 in March.
      In summary, employment rose by 192,000 in March, and the 
unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7 percent.
      My colleagues and I now would be glad to answer your 

Last Modified Date: April 04, 2014