Key Points:

  • Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 431,000 in March as the unemployment rate fell to 3.6%.
  • Consensus among economists was a gain of 490,000 jobs.
  • In March, the unemployed population fell to 6 million but there were 11.3 million job openings in February.
  • Employment in leisure and hospitality added 112,000 jobs, professional and business services increased by 102,000, retail trade rose by 49,000, manufacturing increased by 38,000, and Construction employment increased by 19,000 in March.
  • In March, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by $0.13 to $31.73.
  • The average workweek for all private employees fell by 0.1 hours to 34.6 hours in March.
  • The labor force participation rate was little changed at 62.4% in March.