Economy Gains 303,000 Jobs in March; Unemployment Down to 3.8%

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The U.S. economy gained 303,000 jobs in March, and the unemployment rate was down slightly, to 3.8%, according to figures released Friday morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

March's biggest job gains were in health care (+72,000), leisure and hospitality (+49,000), construction (+39,000), retail trade (+18,000), other services industry (+16,000) and social assistance (+9,000). Employment showed little or no change over the month in other major industries, including mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction; manufacturing; wholesale trade; transportation and warehousing; information; financial activities; and professional and business services. 

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for Black Americans (6.4%) increased in March, while the rates for Hispanics (4.5%) and Asian Americans (2.5%) decreased. The jobless rates for teenagers (12.6%), adult women (3.6%), White Americans (3.4%) and adult men (3.3%) showed little or no change over the month.

The number of long-term unemployed workers (those jobless for 27 weeks or longer) was little changed in March and accounted for 19.5% of the total number of people unemployed.