The U.S. economy added 88,000 non-farm jobs in March and the overall unemployment rate dropped to 7.6 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The total number of new jobs in March represented a dip after a strong period of hiring. Over the 12 months before March, job growth averaged 169,000 per month. The unemployment rate dropped because more people stopped looking for work. The BLS does not count so-called “discouraged workers” — those who are otherwise able to work but are not pursuing a job due to family, personal, or education reasons — towards the total unemployment rate.
BLS noted that manufacturing employment, among other industries, remained relatively unchanged. The manufacturing workweek decreased by 0.1 hour to 40.8 hours and factory overtime rose by 0.1 hour to 3.4 hours, while production and nonsupervisory employee workweeks were unchanged at 33.8 hours.
For the full March unemployment report, go to the BLS website. As always, the early, or “soft,” jobs figures are subject to change under review.