Friday, April 1, 2011

U.S. employment up, unemployment sideways in March

Released this morning: U.S. employment and unemployment estimates for March. The numbers show that employment increased and unemployment was essentially unchanged.

From February to March, total nonfarm employment increased by 925,000 jobs. Normally employers add about 709,000 jobs at this time of year, so the gain was 216,000 jobs more than seasonally expected. Industries showing improvement included professional and business services, health care, and leisure and hospitality.

At 8.8 percent, the unemployment rate* was essentially unchanged in March. (In February it was 8.9 percent.) In March 2010, the unemployment rate was 1.0 percentage point higher (9.9%). Thus the national unemployment rate has improved gradually, even though month-to-month changes are small.

*Seasonally adjusted

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