US Unemployment Rate Unchanged at 17-Year Low


The US unemployment rate stood at a 17-year low of 4.1 percent for the sixth consecutive month in March 2018, slightly above market expectations of 4 percent. The number of unemployed decreased by 121 thousand to 6.59 million and employment fell 37 thousand to 155.18 million.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.7 percent), adult women (3.7 percent), teenagers (13.5 percent), Whites (3.6 percent), Blacks (6.9 percent), Asians (3.1 percent), and Hispanics (5.1 percent) showed little or no change in March.

At 1.3 million, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed in March and accounted for 20.3 percent of the unemployed. Over the year, the number of long-term unemployed was down by 338,000.

The labor force participation rate, at 62.9 percent, changed little in March, and the employment-population ratio held at 60.4 percent.

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed at 5.0 million in March. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been reduced or because they were unable to find full-time jobs.

There were 1.5 million persons marginally attached to the labor force, little different 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 450,000 discouraged workers in March, essentially unchanged 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 1.0 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 Unchanged at 17-Year Low


BLS | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com
4/6/2018 12:37:10 PM