PhotoNew hires in retail trade, construction and health care offset job losses in manufacturing and mining for a net gain of 215,000 jobs in March.

At the same time though, the Department of Labor (DOL) reports the unemployment rate inched up from February's 4.9% to 5.0%, for a total of 8.0 million people out of work.

Winners and losers

The biggest job gainer was the retail trade industry (+ 48,000) followed by construction (+ 37,000), health care (+37,000), and food services and drinking places (+25,000). Losses were recorded in manufacturing (- 29,000) and mining (-12,000). Since reaching a peak in September 2014, mining has lost 185,000 jobs.

Unemployment among the major worker groups showed little change with adult men (4.5%), adult women (4.6%), teenagers (15.9%), Whites (4.3%), Blacks (9.0%), Asians (4.0%), and Hispanics (5.6%).

Among those who were out of work, roughly 2.2 million, or 27.6%, were jobless for 27 weeks or more. That number has shown little movement since last June. The labor force participation rate in March was 63.0% -- little changed from February, but up 0.6% since September.

Those who were working saw their average hourly earnings rise seven cents to $25.43 after dropping by two cents the month before. Average hourly earnings have risen 2.3% over the last year. The average workweek was unchanged in March at 34.4 hours.

The change in job gains for January was revised downward from +172,000 to +168,000, while February's was revised higher -- from +242,000 to +245,000. Over the past three months, job gains have averaged 209,000 per month.

The complete report is available on the DOL website.


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