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March 2014 Unemployment Report

April 4, 2014

Unemployment Rate:  6.7 percent

Unemployed Americans:  10.5 million

Employment and Unemployment

  • The Department of Labor reported an unemployment rate of 6.7 percent for March 2014, unchanged from last month. It reported an increase of 192,000 nonfarm jobs over last month. The employment figure for January was revised from 129,000 to 144,000 jobs created, with the figure for February revised from 175,000 to 197,000 new jobs.   
  • Today’s job growth figures falls short of economic analysts’ prediction of anticipated job growth of about 206,000. 
  • The number of unemployed people in March remained at 10.5 million.
  • The “real” number of unemployed Americans is 20.1 million. These are people who are unemployed (10.5 million), want work but have stopped searching for a job (2.2 million), or are working part time because they cannot find full time employment (7.4 million).
  • The “real” unemployment or U-6 rate is 12.7 percent, up 0.1 percent from February. This is the total percentage of unemployed and underemployed workers.

Labor Force Participation

  • The labor force participation rate is 63.2 percent, up 0.2 percent from last month and remaining near the lowest level in 35 years.  
  • If the labor force participation rate were the same as when President Obama took office, the unemployment rate would be 10.3 percent.
  • The share of American adults with jobs in February was 58.9 percent, up 0.1 percent from last month. This is more than four percentage points below its pre-recession peak. 
  • The number of long-term unemployed (those unemployed for 27 weeks or longer) is 3.7 million Americans. This represents 35.8 percent of the unemployed. During the 1980s, when our country faced a similar recessionary period, the proportion of long-term unemployed never exceeded 27 percent. 
  • Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen recently raised concern with the consistent number of Americans working part time for economic reasons – because they cannot find a full-time position or their hours have been cut back. Today’s report shows this figure to be 7.4 million, an increase of 200,000 from last month. 
  • Additionally, there were 698,000 people in March categorized as “discouraged workers” -- those not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them.