US Bureau of Labor Statistics

In March, the overall unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.8 percent, as reported by the US Department of Labor. It was 4.0 percent a year ago in March 2018.

The civilian labor force participation rate fell by two tenths of a percent to 63.0 percent. The participation rate has had minimal change since September of 2013.

The employment-population ratio fell by one tenth of a percent to 60.6 percent. Despite the slight drop in March, the employment-population ratio has been trending upwards since July 2011.

In March, the unemployment rate for individuals with at least a bachelor’s degree fell for the second consecutive month by two tenths of a percent to 2.0 percent.

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 196,000 in March. The payroll employment numbers for both January and February 2019 were adjusted, resulting in gains that were 14,000 more than previously reported. Payroll employment gains have averaged 180,000 over the last three months.

Some details directly from the BLS report:

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 196,000 in March, with notable gains in health care and in professional and technical services. Employment growth averaged 180,000 per month in the first quarter of 2019, compared with 223,000 per month in 2018.

Health care added 49,000 jobs in March and 398,000 over the past 12 months. Over the month, employment increased in ambulatory health care services (+27,000), hospitals (+14,000), and nursing and residential care facilities (+9,000).

Employment in professional and technical services grew 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).

In March, employment in food services and drinking places continued its upward trend (+27,000), in line with its average monthly gain over the prior 12 months.

Employment in construction showed little change in March (+16,000) but has increased by 246,000 over the past 12 months.

Manufacturing employment changed little for the second month in a row (-6,000 in March, following +1,000 in February). 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 declined in March (-6,000).

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.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.1 hour to 34.5 hours in March, offsetting a decline of 0.1 hour in February. In manufacturing, the average workweek was unchanged in March at 40.7 hours, while overtime decreased by 0.1 hour to 3.4 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 0.1 hour to 33.7 hours.

In March, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 4 cents to $27.70, following a 10-cent gain in February. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 3.2 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 6 cents to $23.24 in March.