The Corner

This Friday’s Economic News

March Employment and Unemployment: The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released a report today on employment and unemployment for March (pdf summary available at http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf). Highlights of the report:

Unemployment Rate:

– The unemployment rate rose to 8.5% in March, from 8.1% in February.  The March rate of unemployment is the highest in 25 years.  The rate was 5.1% a year earlier, in March of 2008.

Payroll Employment:

– Total non-farm payroll employment declined by 663,000 jobs in March, following declines of 651,000 in February, and 741,000 in January (revised from -655,000).

– There have been 15 consecutive months with job losses.  Over that period, payroll employment has declined by 5.1 million jobs.

– In the past five months, payroll employment has declined by 3.3 million.

– Reflecting adjustments in the housing sector, employment in the construction industry declined by 126,000 in March and has declined by 1.1 million jobs since the start of the recession.

– Since the start of the recession, employment in the service-producing sector has fallen by 2.6 million jobs.

– Manufacturing employment declined by 161,000 jobs in March and by 1.5 million since the start of the recession. 

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