U.S. added 215,000 jobs in March

Unemployment, participation rates up slightly

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:08 am

The U.S. added 215,000 jobs in March, but the Bureau of Labor Statistics report released Friday wasn’t all good news as the country lost 29,000 manufacturing jobs and the unemployment rate ticked up to 5 percent.BizTracker-Job-candidates-shutterstock_171112193

The job gains were primarily led by private service-providing companies, which accounted for 199,000 jobs. The goods-producing portion of the economy was down 4,000, with manufacturing’s losses offset by a gain of 37,000 in construction.

“There are so many reasons to be bullish about our economic future, but we can’t become complacent about the challenges that remain,” U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez said in a statement.

The nation’s unemployment rate was up from 4.9 percent to 5 percent, while the labor force participation rate was also up, moving from 62.9 percent to 63 percent. In March 2015, those figures were 5.5 percent and 62.7 percent respectively.

The number of people not in the labor force dropped 206,000 from February to March and now stands at 93.48 million.

Perez said the country has added 14.4 million jobs over the last 73 months and the participation rate was at a two-year high.

“Other indicators continue to demonstrate a vibrant, growing economy,” he said, pointing to increased consumer confidence, a strong labor market and lower initial unemployment insurance claims.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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