The number of unemployed persons dropped to 3023 thousand from 3069 thousand a year earlier and employment went up by 1040 thousand to 26993 thousand. The non-agricultural sectors added 1141 thousand jobs while the farm sector lost 100 thousand. In addition, the number of inactive people fell by 109 thousand, bringing participation rate up to 51.3 percent (50.4 percent a year earlier).
The unemployment rate usually rises from June to January due to seasonal factors. In February, the jobless rate declined to 10.9 percent, after hitting an 11-month high of 11.1 percent in January. On a seasonally adjusted basis, unemployment fell by 60 thousand persons and employment rose by 180 thousand in March compared with the previous month.