Apr 07, 2017

Putting U.S. Employment Numbers in Context – March 2017

Post by Freedom Partners

This morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the unemployment rate for March 2017 was 4.5 percent and that the economy added a meager 98,000 jobs.

Today marks the third jobs report for 2017 and the second full monthly report for the Trump administration.

Further, the number of jobs added for February and January was revised down by a collective 38,000, while 23,000 more individuals dropped out of the labor force. Today’s report confirms millions of Americans are struggling to find work.

Below is a deeper look at the numbers from today’s report and what they say about the state of the U.S. economy and labor market.

Unemployment by the Numbers

4.5%: The unemployment rate decreased to 4.5 percent during March, down from 4.7 percent in February 2016.

7,202,000: The total number of unemployed individuals during March was 7.2 million, down from 7.5 million in February.

98,000: The economy added 98,000 jobs during March, down from 219,000 jobs added during February. The number of jobs added during February was revised down from the 238,000 reported last month.

14,350,000: The total number of individuals “underemployed” was more than 14 million during March 2017. This includes those individuals who are unemployed (7.2 million), those who want a job but are no longer looking for work (1.6 million) and those individuals who are working part-time because no other work was available (5.6 million).

8.9%: The “underemployment” or “real unemployment” rate was 8.9 percent during March 2017. Real unemployment decreased 0.3 percentage points from February 2017.

8%: The African American unemployment rate decreased to 8 percent last month, down from 8.1 percent during February.

5.1%: The Hispanic unemployment rate decreased to 5.1 percent during March 2017.

145,000: The civilian labor force increased by 145,000 during March 2017.

63%: The Labor Force Participation Rate was 63 percent during March 2017.

1,687,000: The number of individuals unemployed for longer than 27 weeks was nearly 1.7 million during March. The total number of long-term unemployed decreased 114,000, or 6 percent from February 2017.

5,554,000: The number of individuals forced to work part time because no full-time work was available was 5.6 million during March, down from 5.7 million from February.

1,595,000: The number of individuals who attempted to look for a job at some point in the last year but have given up their search was nearly 1.6 million during March 2017.

790,000: There were 790,000 unemployed first-time job entrants during March 2017. These individuals entered the labor market for the first time and were unable to find work.

25 Weeks: The average number of weeks it took job seekers to find work increased to 25.3 weeks in March.

6.6%: The millennial unemployment rate (18-29) decreased to 6.6 percent in March. When adjusting for pre-recession 2007 labor force participation rates, this figure increases to 11 percent.