The unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7 percent for March, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this morning, a number that’s shown little movement since December.
“The unemployment rate for adult women increased to 6.2 percent in March, and the rate for adult men decreased to 6.2 percent. The rates for teenagers (20.9 percent), whites (5.8 percent), blacks (12.4 percent), and Hispanics (7.9 percent) showed little or no change. The jobless rate for Asians was 5.4 percent (not seasonally adjusted), little changed from a year earlier,” the Labor report said. The jobless rate for women was 5.9 percent in February and 12 percent for blacks.
“The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more), at 3.7 million, changed little in March; these individuals accounted for 35.8 percent of the unemployed.” The labor force participation rate and employment-population ratio also remained stagnant.
The Obama administration, though, latched onto the part of the report that found total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 192,000 in March.
“The economy continued to add jobs in March at a pace consistent with job growth over the past year. Additionally, the unemployment rate was steady while the labor force participation rate edged up. While today’s data indicates that the recovery is continuing to unfold, the President still believes further steps must be taken to strengthen growth and boost job creation,” Jason Furman, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, said in a statement. “In this regard, the Senate’s decision yesterday to move forward with the consideration of a bill to reinstate extended unemployment insurance was an important step in the right direction.”
“In addition to encouraging this and other action in Congress, such as raising the minimum wage and passing the Paycheck Fairness Act, the President will continue to act on his own executive authority wherever possible to expand economic opportunity for American families.”
Long-term unemployment benefits expired at the end of last year. A bill to reinstate the stimulus-era package cleared a cloture vote in the Senate on Thursday and is expected to pass Monday, but is unlikely to clear the House without major revisions.