2019 employment facts and figures appear to give a positive economic outlook for our country. After an unexpectedly weak February, concerns arose that the nationwide tidal wave of hiring might be receding. However, revisions to the January and February employment figures were 14,000 more than previously reported, and employment surged again in March with 196,000 new jobs. In the first quarter of 2019, job growth averaged 180,000 per month, which is lower than the average of 223,000 jobs per month in 2018. Here are some of the latest figures from the Labor Department:
The unemployment rate remains at its historic low of 3.8 percent. March job increases include significant growth in health care and professional and technical services.
- Health Care added 49,000 jobs and 398,000 over the past 12 months.
- Professional & Technical Services added 34,000 jobs and 311,000 over the past 12 months.
- Construction added 16,000 jobs and 246,000 over the past 12 months.
- Manufacturing lost 6,000 jobs but in the 12 months prior, added an average of 22,000 jobs per month.
- Food services and drinking places added 27,000 jobs, continuing its upward trend.
Wage growth kept its momentum, continuing to grow faster than inflation. Over the last 12 months:
- Workers made 85 cents more per hour for an increase of 3.2%.
- Wages stayed 1.3% above the inflation rate.
- $27.70 – Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls. Earnings rose by 10 cents in February and another 4 cents in March.
- $23.24 – Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees following a 6 cent increase.
In the 389 major metropolitan areas of the U.S., unemployment rates were lower than the same time last year in 283 areas, higher in 67, and unchanged in 39, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many of the March 2019 figures highlight the fact that there is still some room for job growth and that further improvement in participation rates are possible:
- 63 percent – The labor force participation rate, which has shown little movement over the past 12 months.
- 1.3 million workers – Considered long-term unemployed and remained jobless for 27 weeks or more.
- 4.5 million workers- Considered involuntary part-time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs.
- 1.2 million workers- Considered marginally attached and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months but not in the month preceding the survey.
To see more information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, please visit https://www.bls.gov/
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