Nonfarm Payroll Number Comes in Below Expectations

Employment Gears - IllustrationThe Bureau of Labor Statistics ("BLS") released the March 2014 employment report earlier today.

Heading into today's report, the general consensus was that the US economy added a little over 200,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in March. Some brokerages and economists were a bit more optimistic, with some estimates hitting the 250k+ territory.

The number ended up coming in a little light, as the US economy added 192,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in March, while the national unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.7%. The market wasn't a fan of this news, as the S+P 500, DJIA and NASDAQ all dropped on the day.


Let's break down the numbers a little bit.

The number of people in the civilian noninstitutional population (all Americans 16 and over who aren't currently in an institution or in the Armed Forces) rose by 173,000 to 247,258,000.

The number of people in the civilian labor force (members of the civilian noninstitutional population who are either employed or unemployed) rose 503,000 to 156,227,000. This created a labor force participation rate of 63.2%, which was up 0.2% from the previous month.

The number of employed Americans rose 476,000 to 145,742,000 in March, while the number of unemployed Americans rose 27,000 to 10,486,000. This created an unemployment rate of 6.7%, which was unchanged from the previous month.

The number of Americans who are "not in the labor force" (neither employed or unemployed) dropped 331,000 to 91,030,000 in March. In order to be considered "not in the labor force", you must be currently without work and not actively searching for a job.

The number of long-term unemployed (27 weeks and over) fell 110,000 to 3,739,000 in March, while the number of people unemployed for less than 5 weeks increased 88,000 to 2,461,000.

The U-6 unemployment rate, which is an alternative measure of labor underutilization, increased 0.1% to 12.7% in March.


The BLS also revealed that total nonfarm payroll employment actually increased by 144,000 in January (up from a previous estimate of 129,000), while February's number was revised from 175,000 to 197,000.


Filed under: General Market News

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