US Unemployment Rate Steady at 5.5%


The jobless rate held at 5.5 percent in March, the same as in February and the lowest in nearly 7 years. The number of unemployed persons was little changed at 8.6 million.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (5.1 percent), adult women (4.9 percent), teenagers (17.5 percent), whites (4.7 percent), blacks (10.1 percent), Asians (3.2 percent), and Hispanics (6.8 percent) showed little or no change in March.

Among the unemployed, the number of new entrants decreased by 157,000 in March and is down by 342,000 over the year. Unemployed new entrants are those who never previously worked.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 2.6 million in March. These individuals accounted for 29.8 percent of the unemployed. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed has declined by 1.1 million.

The civilian labor force participation rate was little changed at 62.7 percent in March. Since April 2014, the participation rate has remained within a narrow range of 62.7 percent to 62.9 percent. In March, the employment-population ratio was 59.3 percent for the third consecutive month.

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons was little changed in March at 6.7 million.

In March, 2.1 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, little changed from a year earlier.

Among the marginally attached, there were 738,000 discouraged workers in March, little different from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged  workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.3 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 Unemployment Rate Steady at 5.5%


BLS | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com
4/3/2015 1:40:37 PM