US Jobless Rate Unexpectedly Rises to 5%


Unemployment rate in the United States edged up to 5 percent in March 2016, from 4.9 percent in the previous month and compared with expectations that it would hold steady. The number of unemployed persons was little changed at 8 million.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (4.5 percent), adult women (4.6 percent), teenagers (15.9 percent), Whites (4.3 percent), Blacks (9.0 percent), Asians (4.0 percent), and Hispanics (5.6 percent) showed little or no change in March.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged at 2.2 million and has shown little movement since June. In March, these individuals accounted for 27.6 percent of the unemployed. 

The labor force participation rate (63.0 percent) and the employment-population ratio (59.9 percent) changed little. Both measures were up by 0.6 percentage point since September. 

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (also referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was about unchanged in March at 6.1 million and has shown little movement since November. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part-time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job. 

There were 1.7 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down by 335,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. Among the marginally attached, there were 585,000 discouraged workers in March, down by 153,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) The remaining 1.1 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in March had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. 

US Jobless Rate Unexpectedly Rises to 5%


BLS | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com
4/1/2016 1:45:57 PM