Employment and Unemployment

April 2018 Jobs Report

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. employment rate for March 2018 was 4.1 percent for the sixth consecutive month.  The number of unemployed dropped by 121,000 thousand to 6.59 million for the month (Civilian Unemployment Rate).  The job total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 103,000 in March (Total Nonfarm Payroll).

For the month employment in manufacturing grew by 22,000.  Over the year, manufacturing has added 232,000 jobs; the durable goods component accounted for about three-fourths of the jobs added.

In March, health care added 22,000 jobs. Specifically, employment in ambulatory health care services (+16,000) and hospitals (+10,000) saw noticeable increases.  Employment in professional and business services added 33,000 jobs.

Employment in mining increased by 9,000 in March, with gains occurring in support activities for mining (+6,000) and in oil and gas extraction (+2,000).

Decline in employment included retail trade employment (-4,000), and in construction with a reported 15,000 job loss.

The labor force participation rate (Labor Force Participation Rate) was 62.9 percent for the month of March. 

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for men (percent), women (3.7 percent), teenagers, 16-19 years old, (14.4 percent), Whites (3.7 percent), African Americans (6.9 percent), Asians (3.0 percent), and Latinos (5.1 percent) experienced no significant changes in their unemployment rates from the previous month.

The March 2018 labor underutilization rate for those unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed working part-time for economic reasons, or U-6 ticked down to 8.0 from 8.2% in February. (U-6 Rate). 

 

Categories

Feb-18

Mar-18

Change

Unemployment Rate

4.1%

4.1%

  0 percentage point

Unemployment Rate: White

3.7%

3.6%

 -.1 percentage point

Unemployment Rate: African American

6.9%

6.9%

  0 percentage point

Unemployment Rate:  Latino

4.9%

5.1%

 +.2 percentage point

Unemployment Rate: Asian

3.0%

3.0%

  0 percentage point

Unemployment Rate: Men

4.2%

4.1%

 -.1 percentage point 

Unemployment Rate: African American Men

5.9%

6.1%

+.2 percentage point 

Unemployment Rate: White Men

3.4%

3.3%

 -.1 percentage point

Unemployment Rate: Latino Men

4.7%

4.8%

+ .1 percentage point

Unemployment Rate: Women

4.1%

4.0%

 -.1 percentage point

Unemployment Rate: African American Women

6.2%

6.0%

 -.2 percentage point 

Unemployment Rate: White Women

3.3%

3.2%

– .1 percentage point 

Unemployment Rate: Latino Women

5.3%

5.0%

– .3 percentage point 

Unemployment Rate: 16 to 19 years

14.4%

  13.5%

– .9 percentage point 

U-6 Total unemployed 

 8.2%    

8.0%

-.2 percentage point 

A Note of Caution

The unemployment rate is a broad measure of how workers are faring in the economy (although it tends to be a lag or delay).  The unemployment rate as generally reported does not count discouraged workers, nor does it measure under-employment, for example, workers who want a full-time job but can only find part-time work (see What is Unemployment).  There are alternative measures to account for unemployed or underemployed workers.  One measure termed “U-6” by the BLS increases the unemployment rate by several percentage points.  However, even an adjusted unemployment rate does not capture the quality of jobs in the economy. This last point is particularly important to keep in mind, given the growth of non-standard (temporary and/or contingent) jobs in the U.S. economy (see How Healthy is the labor market Really?).  

 

 

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