April 3, 2020

March 2020 Jobs Report

Unemployment Rate: 4.4 percent

Jobs Created: -701,000

Employment and Unemployment

  1. The Department of Labor bases monthly jobs reports on a survey of businesses and a survey of households. The survey data relate to the pay period or calendar week containing the 12th day of the month. The jobs report generally will not reflect labor market developments toward the end of the month.

  2. In March, states and cities began restricting or shutting down businesses to slow the spread of COVID-19. They also began issuing stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders.

  3. DOL reported the unemployment rate rose 0.9 percentage point to 4.4% in March.

  4. Nonfarm jobs decreased by 701,000 in March.

  5. Job growth for January and February was lower on net than originally reported. The department revised the job creation numbers down for those months by a net 57,000 jobs.  

  6. The U-6 unemployment rate, a measure that also includes part-time and discouraged workers, rose 1.7 percentage points to 8.7% in March.

Labor Force Participation

  1. The labor force participation rate, the share of people employed or looking for work, fell 0.7 percentage point to 62.7%.


  1. In March, average hourly earnings for all employees in private nonfarm jobs increased by 11 cents to $28.62. They are up 3.1% from one year ago.

Issue Tags: COVID-19, Labor