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Nonfarm payrolls increase by 215,000 in March, wages tick up

TotalU.S. nonfarm payroll employment increased by 215,000 in March, while theunemployment rate increased slightly to 5.0%, according to the LaborDepartment's latest Employment Situation report released April 1.

Theexpected month-over-month job gain for March was 210,000, while the consensusestimate for the unemployment rate was 4.9%, according to Econoday data madeavailable by Bloomberg.

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Thelabor force participation rate and the employment-population ratio were bothhigher by 0.6 percentage point compared to September 2015, indicating a largernumber of people entering the work force. The participation rate was 63.0%,while the employment-population ratio was 59.9%.

Thegrowth in total nonfarm payroll employment for January was revised downward to168,000 from 172,000. The increase in February, however, was revised to 245,000from 242,000. Over the past three months, job gains have averaged 209,000 permonth.

Averagehourly earnings for employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 7 cents to$25.43 after a 2-cent decline in February. The average workweek was unchangedat 34.4 hours in March.

Thenumber of long-term unemployed, or those jobless for 27 weeks or more, was 2.2million in March, or 27.6% of the unemployed. That figure has changed littlesince June 2015.

Thenumber of people employed part time for economic reasons, or involuntarypart-time workers, was roughly unchanged in March at 6.1 million, a figure thathas shown little movement since November 2015.

Therewere 1.7 million people marginally attached to the labor force in March, downby 335,000 from a year earlier. The Bureau of Labor Statistics defines thisgroup as people neither working nor looking for work but who indicate that theywant and are available for a job and have looked for work some time in the past12 months. Among the marginally attached, there were 585,000discouraged workers in March, down by 153,000 year over year.

Employmentin health care increased by 37,000 during the month; construction employmentrose by 37,000; and retail trade jobs grew by 48,000. Employment in financialactivities grew by 15,000.

Joblosses were seen in manufacturing and mining, while employment in wholesaletrade, transportation and warehousing, information and government changedlittle.