WASHINGTON (April 1, 2016) — Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 215,000 jobs in March 2016, according to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The unemployment rate inched up to 5 percent from February's 4.9 percent, the BLS said.
Retail trade enjoyed the largest employment increase in March, with 48,000 new jobs, according to the BLS. General merchandise jobs rose by 12,000 and auto dealers by 5,000, the agency said.
Construction and health care created 37,000 jobs each during the month, while food services and drinking places added 25,000 new jobs, the BLS said. Financial activities added 15,000 jobs.
However, professional and business services were basically unchanged, and there were precipitous drops in manufacturing (down 29,000 jobs) and mining (down 12,000 jobs).
“March's bleak jobs report shows why so many voters are angry about trade and the economy,” said Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing. “With 29,000 manufacturing jobs lost last month, it is clear the issue isn't going away any time soon.”
Job creation was barely positive in the small business sector in March, according to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Jobs Report issued March 30.
“There was a slight uptick in March's data, but small business owners are still not hiring at a sufficient pace,” said NFIB Chief Economist William C. Dunkelberg. “The numbers suggest that employment gains will continue to be modest and just enough to keep the unemployment rate steady.”
The 215,000-job increase reported by the BLS compared with the 200,000-job increase for March reported by payroll services firm ADP Inc. As usual, ADP released its employment report two days before the BLS report.
Small businesses added 86,000 jobs in March, including 51,000 in companies with one to 19 employees and 35,000 in companies with 20 to 49 employees, ADP said.
Medium-sized businesses, with 50 to 499 employees, grew by 75,000 jobs in March, according to ADP. Large businesses, by contrast, added only 39,000 jobs — 20,000 in companies with 500 to 999 employees, and 18,000 in companies with 1,000 employees or more. (ADP figures don't always equal the total because of rounding, the company said.)
Only 9,000 jobs were created in goods-producing industries, with the rest in service-providing industries, ADP said. In contrast with the BLS figures, ADP said that 3,000 jobs were created in manufacturing.
Total franchise employment grew by 22,000 jobs in March, according to ADP. Approximately 910 jobs were in gasoline stations and auto repair, and 170 in auto parts and dealers, the company said.