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March 2015: unemployment rate steady

According to a news release from the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate has not changed since February, continuing to hold steady at 5.5 percent, or 8.6 million unemployed individuals. In March, 126,000 new jobs were added to the workforce, way down from the previous monthly average of 269,000 new jobs in the past year. The number of people who are new to the workforce and have not previously held a job is also down by 342,000 for the past 12 months, from just over 1,000,000 individuals in March 2014. Within that time frame, 157,000 of those new entrants found jobs last month. Of the 126,000 new jobs added in March, 40,000 were for professional and business services, primarily in architectural and engineering services, computer systems design, and management and technical consulting. Retail trade and health care also saw gains of 26,000 jobs and 22,000 jobs respectively; health care workers had more opportunities in ambulatory services (19,000 jobs) while nursing care facilities saw 6,000 jobs lost in March. Similar to February 2015’s numbers, mining jobs continued to take a hit in March, with 11,000 jobs lost, primarily in support activities for oil and gas mining. So far in 2015, the mining industry has seen a loss of 30,000 mining jobs; only 41,000 mining jobs were created in 2014. Other industries saw little to no change in employment numbers. Food and drinking places saw a slight increase in jobs (9,000); the construction, transportation, trade, manufacturing, information, government and financial sectors saw little change in their employment numbers.]]>

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