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Employment Situation Summary

Technical information:
Household data: (202) 691-6378 USDL 08-0448
http://www.bls.gov/cps/

Establishment data: (202) 691-6555 Transmission of material in


this release
http://www.bls.gov/ces/ is embargoed until 8:30 A.M.
(EDT),
Media contact: (202) 691-5902 Friday, April 4, 2008.

THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION: MARCH 2008

The unemployment rate rose from 4.8 to 5.1 percent in March, and
nonfarm
payroll employment continued to trend down (-80,000), the Bureau of
Labor
Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. Over the
past
3 months, payroll employment has declined by 232,000. In March,
employment
continued to fall in construction, manufacturing, and employment
services,
while health care, food services, and mining added jobs. Average hourly
earnings rose by 5 cents, or 0.3 percent, over the month.

Unemployment (Household Survey Data)

The number of unemployed persons increased by 434,000 to 7.8 million


in
March, and the unemployment rate rose by 0.3 percentage point to 5.1
per-
cent. Since March 2007, the number of unemployed persons has increased
by
1.1 million, and the unemployment rate has risen by 0.7 percentage
point.
(See table A-1.)

Over the month, unemployment rates rose for adult men (to 4.6
percent),
adult women (4.6 percent), and Hispanics (6.9 percent). The jobless
rates
edged up for blacks (to 9.0 percent) and whites (4.5 percent), while the
rate for teenagers (15.8 percent) was essentially unchanged. The
unemploy-
ment rate for Asians was 3.6 percent, not seasonally adjusted. (See
tables
A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

In March, the number of persons unemployed because they lost jobs


increased
by 300,000 to 4.2 million. Over the past 12 months, the number of
unemployed
job losers has increased by 914,000. (See table A-8.)
Total Employment and the Labor Force (Household Survey Data)

The civilian labor force rose to 153.8 million over the month,
offsetting a
decline in the prior month. The labor force participation rate was
66.0 percent
in March and has remained at or near that level since last spring.
Total employ-
ment held at 146.0 million. The employment-population ratio was little
changed
over the month at 62.6 percent. The ratio was down from its most
recent peak of
63.4 percent in December 2006. (See table A-1.)

The number of persons who worked part time for economic reasons, at
4.9 million
in March, was little changed over the month, but has risen by 629,000
over the past
12 months. This category includes persons who indicated that they were
working
part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were
unable to find
full-time jobs. (See table A-5.)

Persons Not in the Labor Force (Household Survey Data)

About 1.4 million persons (not seasonally adjusted) were marginally


attached to
the labor force in March. These individuals wanted and were available
for work and
had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not
counted as un-
employed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks
preceding the survey.
Among the marginally attached, there were 401,000 discouraged workers
in March, about
the same as a year earlier. Discouraged workers are defined as persons
not currently
looking for work specifically because they believed no jobs were
available for them.
The other 951,000 persons classified as marginally attached to the
labor force in
March cited reasons such as school attendance or family
responsibilities. (See
table A-13.)

- 2 -

Table A. Major indicators of labor market activity, seasonally


adjusted
(Numbers in thousands)
_______________________________________________________________________
________
| | |
| Quarterly | |
| averages | Monthly data |
Feb.-
Category |_________________|__________________________|
Mar.
| | | | | |
change
| IV | I | Jan. | Feb. | Mar. |
| 2007 | 2008 | 2008 | 2008 | 2008 |
_________________________|________|________|________|________|________|
________
|
HOUSEHOLD DATA | Labor force status
|
_____________________________________________________
| | | | | |
Civilian labor force ....| 153,667| 153,661| 153,824| 153,374| 153,784|
410
Employment ............| 146,291| 146,070| 146,248| 145,993| 145,969|
-24
Unemployment ..........| 7,375| 7,591| 7,576| 7,381| 7,815|
434
Not in labor force ......| 79,270| 79,146| 78,792| 79,436| 79,211|
-225
|________|________|________|________|________|
________
|
| Unemployment rates
|
_____________________________________________________
| | | | | |
All workers .............| 4.8| 4.9| 4.9| 4.8| 5.1|
0.3
Adult men .............| 4.3| 4.4| 4.4| 4.3| 4.6|
.3
Adult women ...........| 4.2| 4.3| 4.2| 4.2| 4.6|
.4
Teenagers .............| 16.4| 16.8| 18.0| 16.6| 15.8|
-.8
White .................| 4.3| 4.4| 4.4| 4.3| 4.5|
.2
Black or African | | | | | |
American ............| 8.6| 8.8| 9.2| 8.3| 9.0|
.7
Hispanic or Latino | | | | | |
ethnicity ...........| 5.9| 6.5| 6.3| 6.2| 6.9|
.7
|________|________|________|________|________|
________
|
ESTABLISHMENT DATA | Employment
|
_____________________________________________________
| | | | | |
Nonfarm employment.......| 138,031|p137,925| 138,002|p137,926|p137,846|
p-80
Goods-producing (1)....| 22,042| p21,821| 21,907| p21,825| p21,732|
p-93
Construction ........| 7,521| p7,384| 7,426| p7,389| p7,338|
p-51
Manufacturing .......| 13,788| p13,690| 13,737| p13,691| p13,643|
p-48
Service-providing (1)..| 115,989|p116,103| 116,095|p116,101|p116,114|
p13
Retail trade (2)...| 15,490| p15,437| 15,472| p15,426| p15,413|
p-12
Professional and | | | | | |
business services .| 18,093| p18,069| 18,101| p18,071| p18,036|
p-35
Education and health | | | | | |
services ..........| 18,527| p18,658| 18,617| p18,657| p18,699|
p42
Leisure and | | | | | |
hospitality .......| 13,622| p13,663| 13,644| p13,664| p13,682|
p18
Government ..........| 22,291| p22,364| 22,336| p22,369| p22,387|
p18
|________|________|________|________|________|
________
|
| Hours of work (3)
|
_____________________________________________________
| | | | | |
Total private ...........| 33.8| p33.7| 33.7| p33.7| p33.8|
p0.1
Manufacturing .........| 41.2| p41.2| 41.1| p41.2| p41.3|
p.1
Overtime ............| 4.1| p4.0| 4.0| p4.0| p4.1|
p.1
|________|________|________|________|________|
________
|
| Indexes of aggregate weekly hours
(2002=100)(3)
|
_____________________________________________________
| | | | | |
Total private ...........| 107.7| p107.4| 107.4| p107.3| p107.5|
p0.2
|________|________|________|________|________|
________
|
| Earnings (3)
|
_____________________________________________________
Average hourly earnings, | | | | | |
total private .........| $17.64| p$17.81| $17.75| p$17.81| p$17.86|
p$0.05
Average weekly earnings, | | | | | |
total private .........| 596.34| p600.68| 598.18| p600.20| p603.67|
p3.47
_________________________|________|________|________|________|________|
________

1 Includes other industries, not shown separately.


2 Quarterly averages and the over-the-month change are calculated
using
unrounded data.
3 Data relate to private production and nonsupervisory workers.
p = preliminary.

- 3 -

Industry Payroll Employment (Establishment Survey Data)

Total nonfarm payroll employment continued to trend down in March


(-80,000), and
has fallen by 232,000 over the past 3 months. In March, job losses
occurred in con-
struction, manufacturing, and employment services. Employment in
health care, food
services, and mining remained on an upward trend. (See table B-1.)

Employment in construction declined by 51,000 in March and has


fallen by 394,000
since its peak in September 2006. Most of the March decrease in
employment occurred
among specialty trade contractors (-42,000), with both residential and
nonresidential
contractors contributing to the decline.

Manufacturing employment fell by 48,000 in March and by 310,000 over


the past
12 months. Employment in motor vehicles and parts was down by 24,000
over the month,
largely reflecting the impact of a strike in auto parts manufacturing.
The strike
resulted in a parts shortage that led to plant shutdowns elsewhere in
the auto indus-
try. During the 12 months ending in February, the motor vehicle and
parts industry
lost an average of 6,000 jobs per month. In March, factory employment
also fell in
several construction-related industries, including wood products
(-5,000), nonmetallic
mineral products (-5,000), and furniture and related products (-5,000).
Plastics and
rubber products and textile mills also lost jobs over the month.

Professional and business services employment edged down in March


(-35,000). The
number of jobs in the employment services component declined by 42,000
over the month;
about half of the decline occurred in the temporary help services
industry. Employ-
ment services has lost 210,000 jobs since its most recent peak in
August 2006. In
March, employment in professional and technical services showed little
change for the
third month in a row. This industry had added an average of 27,000
jobs per month
in 2007.

In March, employment in retail trade was little changed. Job losses


continued in
building material and garden supply stores (-9,000), furniture and home
furnishings
stores (-5,000), and department stores (-5,000). Over the past 12
months, retail
trade has lost 107,000 jobs.

Employment in financial activities changed little in March. Credit


intermediation
employment edged down over the month and has fallen by 120,000 since
its most recent
peak in October 2006.

Health care employment continued to expand in March, rising by


23,000. Hospitals
added 14,000 jobs. Over the past 12 months, health care has added
363,000 jobs.
Social assistance employment edged up over the month (11,000).

In March, food services employment continued to trend upward


(23,000). Employment
in the industry has increased by 288,000 over the past 12 months.
Employment in mining
rose by 6,000 in March. Support activities for mining, particularly
those related to
oil and gas extraction, accounted for about two-thirds of the increase.

Weekly Hours (Establishment Survey Data)

In March, the average workweek for production and nonsupervisory


workers on private
nonfarm payrolls rose by 0.1 hour to 33.8 hours, seasonally adjusted.
Both the manu-
facturing workweek, at 41.3 hours, and factory overtime, at 4.1 hours,
rose by 0.1 hour
over the month. (See table B-2.)

The index of aggregate weekly hours of production and nonsupervisory


workers on non-
farm payrolls rose by 0.2 percent in March to 107.5 (2002=100). The
manufacturing index
was unchanged at 93.4. (See table B-5.)

Hourly and Weekly Earnings (Establishment Survey Data)

In March, average hourly earnings of production and nonsupervisory


workers on pri-
vate nonfarm payrolls rose by 5 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $17.86,
seasonally adjusted.
This followed gains of 5 cents in January and 6 cents in February.
Average weekly
earnings rose by 0.6 percent in March to $603.67. Over the past 12
months, average
hourly earnings increased by 3.6 percent and average weekly earnings
rose by 3.3 per-
cent. (See table B-3.)

______________________________

The Employment Situation for April 2008 is scheduled to be released


on
Friday, May 2, at 8:30 A.M. (EDT).