Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 916,000 in March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Total unemployed persons decreased to 9.7 million and the unemployment rate fell to 6.0%.
Most of the job gains in March were in leisure and hospitality, public and private education, and construction.
Employment in leisure and hospitality increased by 280,000, as pandemic-related restrictions eased in some parts of the country. Nearly two-thirds of the increase was in food services and drinking places (+176,000). Despite the gains, since March 2020 employment in leisure and hospitality is down by 3.1 million, or 18.5%, since February 2020.
The civilian labor force participation rate rose to 62.6%. Persons on temporary layoff fell 203,000 in March to 2.0 million. This measure is 1.3 million higher than the level a year earlier but is down considerably from the recent high of 18.0 million in April 2020. Workers with permanent job loss was little changed at 3.4 million. Workers unemployed less than 5 weeks was unchanged at 2.2 million.
Read the BLS release.