The first three months in 2010 have had one thing in common – a 9.7 percent unemployment rate. This morning, the U.S. Department of Labor released the March 2010 unemployment figures and although nonfarm payroll employment was up by 162,000, the overall unemployment rate has remained steady at 9.7 percent.
One area that gained workers in March is the federal government. Thanks to the 2010 Census, the federal government added approximately 48,000 temporary workers in states across the nation. As the Census process comes to a close, these workers will be back out of work but hopefully the jobless figures will be a bit more optimistic by the time that happens.
Adult women are still faring the best in this shaky job market with only 8.0 percent unemployed. Teenagers are still having the most difficult time getting a job with more than one-fourth of teens unemployed.
Part-time employment also increased in March. This isn’t exactly volunteer part-time employment, though. In March, 9.1 million Americans were working part-time because they couldn’t find a full-time job or their full-time hours had been reduced.
Several industries saw job growth in March 2010 including health care (+27,000 jobs), mining (+8,000 jobs), and manufacturing (+17,000 jobs). Financial firms continued to see a decline in employment with 21,000 jobs lost in March. Of these, 9,000 were in insurance and related activities.
Although the unemployment rate remained unchanged, the fact that more than 100,000 jobs were created in March is definitely a good thing. This means that new jobs created are outpacing new unemployed workers, even when discarding the 48,000 temporary census workers. This isn’t a drastic jump in employment figures but it is certainly a start.