431,000 jobs added in March, unemployment rate at 3.6%

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 431,000 in March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Total unemployed persons edged down to 6.0 million in March, and the unemployment rate edged down to 3.6%.

Most of the job gains in March were in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, retail trade, and manufacturing.

Employment in leisure and hospitality expanded by 112,000 in March, reflecting job gains in food services and drinking places (+61,000) and in the accommodation industry (+25,000). Since February 2020, employment in leisure and hospitality is down by 1.5 million, or 8.7%.

Employment in professional and business services added 102,000 jobs. Job gains occurred in services to buildings and dwellings (+22,000), accounting and bookkeeping services (+18,000), management and technical consulting services (+15,000), computer systems design and related services (+12,000), and scientific research and development services (+5,000). Employment in professional and business services is 723,000 higher than in February 2020.

Employment in retail trade increased by 49,000 in March, with gains in general merchandise stores (+20,000) and food and beverage stores (+18,000). Health and personal care stores lost 5,000 jobs. Retail trade employment is 278,000 above its level in February 2020.

Manufacturing added 38,000 jobs in March. Employment in durable goods industries rose by 22,000, with gains in transportation equipment (+11,000) and electrical equipment and appliances (+4,000). These gains were partially offset by a loss of 5,000 jobs in nonmetallic mineral products. Nondurable goods manufacturing added 16,000 jobs over the month, including a gain in chemicals (+7,000). Since February 2020, manufacturing employment is down by 128,000, or 1.0 percent.

The civilian labor force participation rate was little changed at 62.4%. The number of persons on temporary layoff was little changed over the month at 787,000 and has essentially returned to its February 2020 level. Workers with permanent job loss decreased by 191,000 to 1.4 million, and is little different from its February 2020 level of 1.3 million.

Read the BLS release.

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