Nonfarm payrolls in the US increased by 196 thousand in March of 2019, following an upwardly revised 33 thousand rise in February and beating market expectations of 180 thousand. Notable job gains were seen in health care and in professional and technical services. Employment growth averaged 180 thousand per month in the first quarter of 2019, compared with 223 thousand per month in 2018.
Health care added 49,000 jobs in March and 398,000 over the past 12 months. Over the month, employment increased in ambulatory health care services (+27,000), hospitals (+14,000), and nursing and residential care facilities (+9,000).
Employment in professional and technical services grew by 34,000 in March and 311,000 over the past 12 months. In March, computer systems design and related services added 12,000 jobs. Employment continued to trend up in architectural and engineering services (+6,000) and in management and technical consulting services (+6,000).
In March, employment in food services and drinking places continued its upward trend (+27,000), in line with its average monthly gain over the prior 12 months.
Employment in construction showed little change in March (+16,000) but has increased by 246,000 over the past 12 months.
Manufacturing employment changed little for the second month in a row (-6,000 in March, following +1,000 in February). In the 12 months prior to February, manufacturing had added an average of 22,000 jobs per month. Within the industry, employment in motor vehicles and parts declined in March (-6,000).
Employment in other major industries, including mining, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, and government, showed little change over the month.
The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.1 hour to 34.5 hours in March, offsetting a decline of 0.1 hour in February. In manufacturing, the average workweek was unchanged in March at 40.7 hours, while overtime decreased by 0.1 hour to 3.4 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 0.1 hour to 33.7 hours.
In March, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 4 cents to $27.70, following a 10-cent gain in February. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 3.2 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 6 cents to $23.24 in March.
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for January was revised up from +311,000 to +312,000, and the change for February was revised up from +20,000 to +33,000. With these revisions, employment gains in January and February combined were 14,000 more than previously reported. (Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates and from the recalculation of seasonal factors.) After revisions, job gains have averaged 180,000 per month over the last 3 months.
4/5/2019 12:38:39 PM