Total employment in the U.S. rose by 916,000 in March, with the jobless rateedging down to 6 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
The numbers were higher than already robust estimates. Financial markets had been on the rise, due the prospect of small numbers, but continued to rise on Friday.
The lower numbers may bolster arguments of Republicans opposed to the Biden-Harris Administration’s $2 trillion infrastructure bill.
Republicans will claim that the measure will spur inflation and eventually send the economy into a tailspin, due to higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy.
At the same time, the figures from the BLS show the economy is a long way from a full recovery, with the jobless rate still above pre-pandemic levels and many people subsisting on part-time work.
Some economists have argued that the jobless rate is far higher than the BLS numbers indicate due to the “gig economy” that has a large number of free-lance, shared ride and food delivery workers who are earning only a fraction of their previous wages. The BLS does attempt to put those workers in its stats.
Delaware job figures come later in the month
Delaware unemployment figures for March are typically released around the 20th of April. The state’s February jobless rate has been hovering around the national figure.
The biggest losses are in hospitality and health care-education. Both sectors have been seeing employment gains as schools reopen and people get elective procedures that were harder to obtain earlier in the pandemic.
According to the BLS reports the improvements in the labor market reflect the resumption of economic activitythat had been curtailed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Job growth waswidespread in March, led by gains in leisure and hospitality, public and privateeducation, and construction.
Governors have been loosening Covid-19 restrictions, despite an uptick in coronavirus cases in Delaware and other states.
Number of jobless 4 million greater than before the pandemic
This federal report statistics from two monthly surveys. The household surveymeasures labor force status, including unemployment, by race and gender.
The establishment survey measures nonfarm employment, hours, and earnings by industry.
The number of unemployed persons, at 9.7 million,continued to trend down in March but is 4 million higher than in February 2020.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for Asians rose to 6 percent inMarch, following a decline in the previous month. The jobless rate for Hispanics edgeddown to 7.9 percent over the month, while the rates for adult men (5.8 percent), adultwomen (5.7 percent), teenagers (13.0 percent), Whites (5.4 percent), and Blacks (9.6percent) saw little change.
The number of long-term unemployed changed little at 4.2 million and is up by 3.1 million since February 2020.
In March,long-term unemployed accounted for 43.4 percent of the total unemployed. Thenumber of persons without work five to 14 weeks declined by 313,000 to 1.9 million. The numberof persons without a job for fewer than 5 weeks, was 2.2 million, essentially unchanged overthe month.
The number of persons who can only find part-time work changed little at 5.8 million, changedlittle in March but is 1.4 million higher than in February 2020.
The number of persons not in the labor force who currently want a job was unchanged at 6.9 million in March but is up by 1.8 million since February 2020. The are not counted as unemployed because they were not actively looking forwork during the last four weeks or were unavailable to take a job.
The number of discouraged workers, who believe that no jobs were available for them, was523,000 in March, essentially unchanged from the previous month.