Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 266,000 in March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Total unemployed persons rose slightly to 9.8 million and the unemployment rate edged up to 6.1%. Most of the job gains in March were in leisure and hospitality, public and private education, and construction.
Employment in leisure and hospitality where the largest driver of growth increasing by 331,000, as pandemic-related restrictions eased in some parts of the country. More than half of the increase was in food services and drinking places (+187,000). Despite the gains, since March 2020 employment in leisure and hospitality is down by 2.8 million, or 16.8%, since February 2020.
The civilian labor force participation rate was little changed at 61.7 percent in April and is 1.6 percentage points lower than in February 2020. The employment-population ratio was also little changed in April at 57.9 percent but is up by 0.5 percentage point since December 2020. However, this measure is 3.2 percentage points below its February 2020 level. Among those not in the labor force who currently want a job, the number of persons marginally attached to the labor force, at 1.9 million, was essentially unchanged in April but is up by 419,000 since February 2020. These individuals wanted and were available for work and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months but had not looked for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. The number of discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believed that no jobs were available for them, was little changed at 565,000 in April but is 164,000 higher than in February 2020.
Read the BLS release.