National Employment Situation, March 2024


Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 333,000 in March 2024 from February 2024. The unemployment rate fell from 3.9 percent to 3.8 percent.

The news release from Bureau of Labor Statistics, may be found here. My interactive visualization of this material is at Current Employment Statistics.

The primary results reported are:

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 303,000 in March, and the unemployment rate changed little at 3.8 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in health care, government, and construction.

Other important numbers, quoting from BLS:

  • Both the unemployment rate, at 3.8 percent, and the number of unemployed people, at 6.4 million, changed little in March. The unemployment rate has been in a narrow range of 3.7 percent to 3.9 percent since August 2023.

  • Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for Blacks (6.4 percent) increased in March, while the rates for Asians (2.5 percent) and Hispanics (4.5 percent) decreased. The jobless rates for adult men (3.3 percent), adult women (3.6 percent), teenagers (12.6 percent), and Whites (3.4 percent) showed little or no change over the month.

  • The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more), at 1.2 million, was little changed in March. The long-term unemployed accounted for 19.5 percent of all unemployed people.

  • Both the labor force participation rate, at 62.7 percent, and the employment-population ratio, at 60.3 percent, were little changed in March. These measures showed little change over the year.

  • The number of people employed part time for economic reasons, at 4.3 million, changed little in March.

  • In March, the number of people not in the labor force who currently want a job, at 5.4 million, was little changed.

BLS reports that previous data was revised, both up and down:

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for January was revised up by 27,000, from +229,000 to +256,000, and the change for February was revised down by 5,000, from +275,000 to +270,000. With these revisions, employment in January and February combined is 22,000 higher than previously reported. (Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates and from the recalculation of seasonal factors.)

The Wall Street Journal reported:

U.S. job growth was strong last month, and the unemployment rate fell slightly. But wage growth remained contained, underscoring the growing belief among economists and policymakers that the country can keep adding jobs without fanning inflation.

Average hourly earnings in March rose 0.3% from the previous month. That put them up 4.1% from a year earlier, marking the smallest on-the-year gain since June 2021.

U.S. Economy Added 303,000 Jobs in March
Unemployment rate slipped to 3.8%

In the New York Times:

Another month, another burst of strong job gains. Employers added 303,000 jobs in March on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Labor Department reported on Friday.

It was the 39th straight month of job growth and a much larger gain than forecast. The unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent, from 3.9 percent in February.

The continuing strength, labor market analysts say, may increase confidence among investors and the Federal Reserve that the U.S. economy has reached a healthy equilibrium in which a steady roll of commercial activity, growing employment and rising wages coexist.

Employers added 303,000 jobs in March, the 39th straight month of growth.
The unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent.

Following, some charts taken from the visualization. Click charts for larger versions.


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