Retail trade added 48,000 jobs in March. Employment gains occurred in general merchandise stores (+12,000), health and personal care stores (+10,000), building material and garden supply stores (+10,000), and automobile dealers (+5,000). Over the past 12 months, retail trade has added 378,000 jobs.
Construction employment rose by 37,000 in March. Job gains occurred among residential specialty trade contractors (+12,000) and in heavy and civil engineering construction (+11,000). Over the year, construction has added 301,000 jobs.
Employment in health care increased by 37,000 over the month, about in line with the average monthly gain over the prior 12 months. In March, employment rose in ambulatory health care services (+27,000) and hospitals (+10,000). Over the year, health care employment has increased by 503,000.
Over the month, employment continued to trend up in food services and drinking places (+25,000) and in financial activities (+15,000).
In March, employment in professional and business services changed little for the third month in a row. In 2015, the industry added an average of 52,000 jobs per month.
Employment in manufacturing declined by 29,000 in March. Most of the job losses occurred in durable goods industries (-24,000), including machinery (-7,000), primary metals (-3,000), and semiconductors and electronic components (-3,000).
Mining employment continued to decline in March (-12,000) with losses concentrated in support activities for mining (-10,000). Since reaching a peak in September 2014, employment in mining has decreased by 185,000.
Employment in other major industries, including wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, and government, changed little over the month.
The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.4 hours in March. The manufacturing workweek edged down by 0.1 hour to 40.6 hours. Factory overtime was 3.3 hours for the fourth month in a row. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 33.6 hours.
In March, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 7 cents to $25.43, following a 2-cent decline in February. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.3 percent. In March, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 4 cents to $21.37. (