via a special arrangement with Informa Economics, Inc.
Unemployment rate decline attributed to fewer seeking work
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U.S. nonfarm payrolls increased 120,000 in March, about half the pace seen in February, the U.S. Labor Dept. said today. This is the first time since Nov. 2011 that the economy has failed to add more than 200,000 jobs.
Expectations were for 190,000 to 205,000 jobs to have been added in March.
The unemployment rate downticked to 8.2 percent, but that was attributed largely to fewer people looking for work. The number of unemployed was put at 12.7 million, little changed from the prior month.
Expectations were for the unemployment rate to be unchanged at 8.3 percent.
The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged down by 0.1 hour to 34.5 hours in March. Expectations were for that to be at 34.5 hours, but unchanged from the prior month.
In March, average hourly earnings for all employees rose by 5 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $23.39. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 2.1 percent. Expectations were for average hourly earnings to rise 0.2 percent.
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) was essentially unchanged at 5.3 million in March. These individuals accounted for 42.5 percent of the unemployed. Since April 2010, the number of long-term unemployed has fallen by 1.4 million.