Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 431,000 in March, and the unemployment rate declined to 3.6 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on April 1.
According to the report, notable job gains continued in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, retail trade, and manufacturing.
The Bureau said the unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 3.6 percent in March, and the number of unemployed persons decreased by 318,000 to 6.0 million.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for adult women (3.3 percent) declined in March.
Among the unemployed, the number of permanent job losers decreased by 191,000 to 1.4 million in March and is little different from its February 2020 level of 1.3 million, the report said.
The number of persons on temporary layoff was little changed over the month at 787,000 and has essentially returned to its February 2020 level. The number of job leavers—unemployed persons who quit or voluntarily left their previous job and began looking for new employment—fell by 176,000 to 787,000 in March.
In March, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) decreased by 274,000 to 1.4 million. This measure is 307,000 higher than in February 2020. The long-term unemployed accounted for 23.9 percent of all unemployed persons in March, the Bureau said.
The labor force participation rate, at 62.4 percent, changed little in March, the Bureau said.
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons was about unchanged at 4.2 million in March and is little different from its February 2020 level. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs.
The number of persons not in the labor force who currently want a job increased by 382,000 to 5.7 million in March, following a decrease of a similar magnitude in the prior month. This measure is above its February 2020 level of 5 million.
In March, 10 percent of employed persons teleworked because of the coronavirus pandemic, down from 13 percent in the prior month. These data refer to employed persons who teleworked or worked at home for pay in the four weeks preceding the survey.
In March, 2.5 million persons reported that they had been unable to work because their employer closed or lost business due to the pandemic—they did not work at all or worked fewer hours at some point in the four weeks preceding the survey due to the pandemic. This measure is down from 4.2 million in the previous month.
Employment in leisure and hospitality—prominent in the Saratoga and Lake George regions—continued to increase, with a gain of 112,000 in March. Job growth occurred in food services and drinking places (+61,000) and accommodation (+25,000). Employment in leisure and hospitality is down by 1.5 million, or 8.7 percent, since February 2020.
Job growth continued in professional and business services, which added 102,000 jobs in March. Within the industry, job gains occurred in services to buildings and dwellings (+22,000), accounting and bookkeeping services (+18,000), management and technical consulting services (+15,000), computer systems design and related services (+12,000), and scientific research and development services (+5,000). Employment in professional and business services is 723,000 higher than in February 2020.
Employment in retail trade increased by 49,000 in March, with gains in general merchandise stores (+20,000) and food and beverage stores (+18,000). Health and personal care stores lost 5,000 jobs. Retail trade employment is 278,000 above its level in February 2020.
Employment in construction continued to trend up in March (+19,000) and has returned to its February 2020 level.
Health care employment changed little in March (+8,000), after a large increase in the prior month. Employment in the industry is down by 298,000, or 1.8 percent, since February 2020.