April 08, 2003
Total payroll employment declined by 108,000 in March. Employment continued to decline in manufacturing, retail trade, and transportation. Government employment also fell over the month.
Widespread job losses continued in manufacturing over the month, particularly in the industries that produce durable goods. Manufacturing employment reached its most recent peak in April 1998 and has since fallen by 2.5 million.
Retail trade lost 43,000 jobs in March, after seasonal adjustment, mainly reflecting another large decline in eating and drinking places. Transportation employment was down by 14,000, with small losses across many component industries.
Government employment fell by 40,000 in March. Recently, budget problems have lowered the rate of job growth in state and local government.
Construction and finance employment edged upward, and most other industries showed little change.
Payroll employment data are from the Current Employment Statistics program. The above data are seasonally adjusted. Data for February and March 2003 are preliminary and subject to revision. For more information, see "The Employment Situation: March 2003" (PDF) (TXT), news release USDL 03-157.