The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the U.S. Employment Situation Report for March on Friday, March 6 showing national unemployment was down slightly to 8.2% from the previous month’s 8.3%.
The Report showed that job growth for March slowed sharply and it began to raise new questions about the strength of the most recent economic recovery that began during the fall of 2011. For March, U.S. employers added 120,000 new positions which are only half the job gains over the previous three month period.
In addition, the latest employment report comes at a critical period in the U.S. Presidential campaign and raises questions regarding President Obama’s re-election in November. However, research suggests that major economic reports for the upcoming summer months will likely set the most important tone for voters’ outlook for the November elections.
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 120,000 in March. In the prior three months, payroll employment had risen by an average of 246,000 per month. Private-sector employment grew by 121,000 in March, including gains in manufacturing, food
services and drinking places, and health care. Retail trade lost jobs over the month. Government employment was essentially unchanged. Industry job growth/decline changes between February and March 2012 by major industry categories included the following:
|Industry||Changes from Feb., 2012 to Mar., 2012||Special Note|
|Mining/Logging||1,000||Includes oil & gas extraction|
in both residential & non-residential construction
|Manufacturing-Durable Goods||26,000||Growth in motor vehicles, machinery & fabricated metal
|11,000||Growth in food manufacturing, paper & paper products &
|Retail Trade||-33,800||Declines in general merchandise stores & department stores
|Transportation & Warehousing||2,800||Growth in support activities for transportation categories|
|Information||-9,000||Declines in motion picture & sound recording, broadcast
& telecommunications categories
|Financial activities||15,000||Growth in credit intermediation & related & rental &
|Prof. & business services||31,000||Growth in services to buildings & dwellings, administrative
& support services & management & technical consulting; sizeable
decline in employment services.
|Education & health services||37,000||Growth in health care, educational services & hospitals|
|Leisure & hospitality||39,000||Growth in accommodation & food services category|
|Federal (exclude U.S. Postal Service)||No change||–|
|U.S. Postal Service||-2,100||–|