Commissioner's Statement on the Employment Situation News Release

Advance copies of this statement are made available to the press 
under lock-up conditions with the explicit understanding that 
the data are embargoed until 8:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time.


                            Statement of

                          William W. Beach
                            Commissioner
                     Bureau of Labor Statistics

                        Friday, April 5, 2019


      In March, nonfarm payroll employment increased by 196,000, 
and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.8 percent. Over the 
month, notable job gains occurred in health care and in 
professional and technical services. 
      
      Incorporating revisions for January and February, which 
increased nonfarm payroll employment by 14,000, monthly job 
gains averaged 180,000 in the first quarter of this year. In 
2018, employment gains averaged 223,000 per month. 
      
      Health care employment rose by 49,000 in March, with gains 
occurring in ambulatory health care services (+27,000), 
hospitals (+14,000), and nursing and residential care facilities 
(+9,000). Over the past 12 months, health care has added 398,000 
jobs. 
      
      Employment in professional and technical services increased 
by 34,000 in March and 311,000 over the past 12 months. In 
March, computer systems design and related services added 12,000 
jobs. Employment continued to trend up in architectural and 
engineering services (+6,000) and in management and technical 
consulting services (+6,000). 
      
      Employment continued to trend up in food services and 
drinking places in March (+27,000), in line with its average 
monthly growth over the prior 12 months. 
      
      Construction employment changed little over the month 
(+16,000). Over the past 12 months, construction has added 
246,000 jobs. 
      
      Manufacturing employment changed little in March (-6,000), 
following little change in February (+1,000). In the 12 months 
prior to February, manufacturing had added an average of 22,000 
jobs per month. Within the industry, employment in motor 
vehicles and parts fell by 6,000 in March. 
      
      Employment in other major industries--including mining, 
wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, 
information, financial activities, and government--showed little 
change over the month. 
      
      Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm 
payrolls rose by 4 cents in March to $27.70, following a 10-cent 
gain in February. Over the past 12 months, average hourly 
earnings have risen by 3.2 percent. From February 2018 to 
February 2019, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers 
(CPI-U) increased by 1.5 percent (on a seasonally adjusted 
basis). 
      
      Turning now to data from the survey of households, the 
unemployment rate held at 3.8 percent in March. The number of 
unemployed people, at 6.2 million, was essentially unchanged 
over the month. 
      
      The number of unemployed people searching for work for 27 
weeks or longer, at 1.3 million, was little changed in March. 
These long-term unemployed accounted for 21.1 percent of the 
total unemployed. 
      
      The labor force participation rate, at 63.0 percent, 
changed little over the month and has shown little movement on 
net over the past 12 months. The employment-population ratio was 
60.6 percent in March and has been either 60.6 percent or 60.7 
percent since October 2018.
      
      In March, 4.5 million people were working part time for 
economic reasons (also referred to as involuntary part-time 
workers), little changed from the previous month. 
      
      Among those neither working nor looking for work in March, 
1.4 million were considered marginally attached to the labor 
force, little different from a year earlier. (People who are 
marginally attached to the labor force had not looked for work 
in the 4 weeks prior to the survey but wanted a job, were 
available for work, and had looked for a job within the last 12 
months.) Discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally 
attached who believed no jobs were available for them, numbered 
412,000 in March, also little different from a year earlier. 
      
      In summary, nonfarm payroll employment increased by 196,000 
in March, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.8 
percent.




Last Modified Date: April 05, 2019