U.S. Unemployment Rate Remains at 4.1 Percent in March

Mark Gruenberg

Mark Gruenberg Editor, Press Associates Union News

The U.S. unemployment rate remained at 4.1 percent in March, the sixth straight month it has done so, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said. A separate survey showed businesses claimed to create a net of 102,000 new jobs,. Governments added 1,000 more, with 2,600 new local government jobs offsetting small losses elsewhere.

BLS said there were 6.585 million unemployed in March, down 121,000 from February. It added the combined total of the jobless, people toiling part-time when they really want full-time work and people too discouraged to seek jobs totaled one of every 12 workers.

Factories added 22,000 jobs, to 12.63 million, with 40 percent (+8,800) of the gains in fabricated metal products, including steel. That left 511,000 jobless factory workers (3.3 percent).

Construction firms shed 15,000 jobs, to 7.15 million. The losses were in specialty contractors (-16,200 jobs). Some 696,000 construction workers (7.4 percent) were jobless in March. But union leaders say that understates joblessness in their sector, since a worker toiling for one day in the survey period’s week is counted as being employed the whole month.

“Longer-term trends” in the economy “indicate continued movement in the right direction, but there’s still a ways to go before reaching full employment levels,” Economic Policy Institute analyst Elise Gould tweeted.

As usual, the lowest-paying sectors of service industries added the most jobs: Health care (+22,000), social assistance/home health care (+11,800), hospitals (+9,900) and janitors (+7,500). The one exception: Trucking (+6,700). Overall, services added 87,000 jobs in March, BLS reported.

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Union Matters

Raise the Wage!

From the AFL-CIO

It’s been a decade since the federal minimum wage was increased—the longest period in American history without an increase. In that time, the cost of living has increased and working families have struggled to make ends meet. The Raise the Wage Act would finally bring the federal minimum wage up to $15 an hour.

The House of Representatives is voting tomorrow on the Raise the Wage Act, and we need to make sure lawmakers know where workers stand. Will you show your support and ask your friends to call their representatives?

One in 9 workers in the U.S. is in poverty—even when working full time and year-round. Passing the Raise the Wage Act as it stands would empower working families in need and build an economy that works for everyone.

Share our #RaisetheWage message on social media right now.

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