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

		       William J. Wiatrowski
		        Acting Commissioner
		   Bureau of Labor Statistics

		     Friday, April 6, 2018


      Nonfarm payroll employment edged up by 103,000 in March, 
following a large gain in February (+326,000). The unemployment 
rate remained unchanged at 4.1 percent in March. Over the month, 
job gains occurred in manufacturing, health care, and mining.
      
      Incorporating revisions for January and February, which 
decreased nonfarm payroll employment by 50,000 on net, monthly 
job gains have averaged 202,000 over the past 3 months. 
      
      Manufacturing employment rose by 22,000 in March. All of 
the increase occurred in the durable goods component, including 
a gain of 9,000 in fabricated metal products. Over the past 12 
months, manufacturing has added 232,000 jobs; the durable goods 
component accounted for about three-fourths of the jobs added. 
      
      Employment in health care increased by 22,000 in March and 
has grown by 304,000 over the year. Within the industry, 
employment continued to trend up over the month in ambulatory 
health care services (+16,000) and hospitals (+10,000).
      
      Mining employment rose by 9,000 in March, with gains 
occurring in support activities for mining (+6,000) and in oil 
and gas extraction (+2,000). Employment in mining has expanded 
by 78,000 since a recent low point in October 2016.
      
      Employment in professional and business services continued 
to trend up in March (+33,000). Over the year, employment in the 
industry has increased by 502,000, with gains distributed across 
most of the component industries. 
      
      Employment in retail trade changed little in March (-4,000) 
following an increase in February (+47,000). Within the 
industry, employment in general merchandise stores declined by 
13,000 over the month, offsetting an increase of the same 
magnitude in February. Over the year, employment in retail trade 
has shown little net change.
      
      In March, employment in construction changed little 
(-15,000), following a large increase in February (+65,000). 
These employment changes averaged 25,000 per month, roughly in 
line with the average monthly gain over the previous 6 months.
      
      Employment in other major industries--wholesale trade, 
transportation and warehousing, information, financial 
activities, leisure and hospitality, and government--showed 
little change over the month.
      
      Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm 
payrolls rose by 8 cents in March to $26.82, following a 3-cent 
gain in February. Over the past 12 months, average hourly 
earnings have risen by 2.7 percent. From February 2017 to 
February 2018, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers 
(CPI-U) increased by 2.3 percent (on a seasonally adjusted 
basis).
      
      Turning now to data from the survey of households, the 
unemployment rate in March was 4.1 percent for the sixth month 
in a row. The number of unemployed people, at 6.6 million, 
changed little in March. 
      
      The number of unemployed people searching for work for 27 
weeks or more, at 1.3 million, was also little changed in March. 
These long-term unemployed accounted for 20.3 percent of the 
total unemployed.
      
      The labor force participation rate, at 62.9 percent, 
changed little over the month and has shown little movement on 
net over the past year. The employment-population ratio remained 
at 60.4 percent in March. 
      
      Among the employed, the number of people working part time 
for economic reasons, also referred to as involuntary part-time 
workers, was 5.0 million in March. This measure was little 
changed over the month and has held fairly steady since last 
fall.
      
      In March, among those neither working nor looking for work, 
1.5 million were considered marginally attached to the labor 
force, little different from a year earlier. Discouraged 
workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believed that 
no jobs were available to them, numbered 450,000 in March, 
essentially unchanged from a year earlier. (People who are 
marginally attached to the labor force 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.)
      
      In summary, nonfarm payroll employment edged up by 103,000 
in March, and the unemployment rate held steady at 4.1 percent.




Last Modified Date: April 06, 2018