Payroll Employment Edged Up in March

(CN) – Payroll employment edged up by 98,000 in March, following gains of 219,000 in February and 216,000 in January.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said Tuesday that over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 178,000 per month; over the past year, they have averaged 182,000 per month.

Employment increased by 56,000 over the month in professional and business services, about in line with the average monthly gain over the prior 12 months.

Mining employment increased by 11,000 in March, with most of the gains occurring in support activities for mining. Mining employment has increased by 35,000 since reaching a recent employment low in October 2016.

Employment continued to trend up in health care, with 14,000 jobs added in March 2017. Within health care, hospitals added 9,000 jobs and outpatient care facilities added 6,000 jobs. In the first 3 months of 2017, health care employment has increased by an average of 20,000 per month, compared with an average monthly increase of 32,000 in 2016.

Employment in financial activities continued to trend up in March 2017 (+9,000). Over the past 12 months, the industry has added 178,000 jobs.

Employment in retail trade declined by 30,000 in March. Within retail trade, employment in general merchandise stores declined by 35,000 over the month and 89,000 since reaching a recent employment high in October 2016.

Employment in other major industries, including manufacturing, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, leisure and hospitality, and government, showed little or no change in March.

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