Employment Situation Across USA – March 2016 (Household & Establishment)

Updated : February 16th, 2017

With the economic outlook remaining largely stable, the unemployment rate in March 2016 was 5.0 percent, adding a little over 215,000 jobs during this month. While industries such as construction, healthcare and retail created the highest number of jobs, mining and manufacturing had the highest number of job losses. The number of unemployment persons in the US at the end of March was 8.0 million.

Let’s unveil the monthly publication from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (US Department of Labor), titled “The Employment Situation – March”, give it a 360 degree view and mine the numbers that really matters to you.

Unemployment Rate Among Major Workers Groups

  • Adult Men – 4.5%
  • Adult Women – 4.6%
  • Teenagers – 15.9%

While the jobless rate for adult men remained stable, the rate for adult women and teenagers edged up by 0.1 and 0.6 percentage points respectively. We hope, federal and state agencies focus on creating more employment opportunities for teenagers, which has shown little improvement, month on month.  

Unemployment Rate Among Ethnic Groups

  • Blacks – 9.0%
  • Asians – 4.0%
  • Whites – 4.3%
  • Hispanics – 5.6%

All major ethnic groups except whites saw increase in unemployment rates from February 2016.

General Highlights

  • In March, the number of long-term unemployed persons was 2.2 million. A tag given to people unemployed for 27 weeks or more, such individuals constituted 27.6% of the overall unemployed.
  • About 6.1 million people were employed part time for economic reasons, a category that has seen little movement since November last year.
  • During this month, 1.7 million persons were tagged marginally attached to the labor force, down by 335,000 from the same month, last year.
  • From the category above, 585,000 persons were tagged discouraged workers, a category to classify those who who are currently not looking for a job since they believe no jobs are available to match their skillset and experience.

Employment Data in Various Industries (Top Highlights)

1) Retail trade added the highest number of jobs in March among all the industries. It created 48,000 jobs and continues to lead by example over the last couple of months.

  • General merchandise stores – +12,000
  • Health & personal care stores – +10,000

2) Construction was another sector that has continued to remain stable in the last few months. It added 37,000 jobs during March 2016.

  • Residential specialty trade contractors – +12,000
  • Heavy and civil engineering construction – +11,000

3) Mining continued to tumble with heavy loss of employment. This sector lost 12,000 jobs during this month, it continues to lose jobs since November 2015.

  • Support activities for mining -10,000

Other Highlights

  • In March 2016, the average workweek for all employees was 34.4 hours, the same as last month.
  • The average hourly earnings for all employees was $25.43, up by 7 cents. The average earnings has steadily risen by 2.3 percent over the year.
  • The average hourly earnings for employees in production and nonsupervisory roles saw a spike of 4 cents to stand at $21.37.


  1. I have been working as an hourly employee for the last 4 months. Currently the board of the nonprofit agency came to me and told me that I had to file a 1099 or go to part time or find a new job. I have a scheduled time that I report to work. What are the laws here in Florida about who can receive a 1099

  2. I am unemployed and currently going to a community college. How can I apply for federal assistance?

    1. Carol,

      If you’re able and available for full-time employment, you can directly go to the website of the Unemployment Office and apply.

  3. I have worked in AZ since March 2016. However, I moved lived and worked for my employer in CA since 08/02/1982. Can I apply for Cali unemployment benefits?

    1. Robert,

      You should be applying from the state where your employment was based. Employers generally remit unemployment taxes to the state where the employee is based.

  4. I have been trying for over a month to file and I still do not seem to be able to do it, but I finally got to the correct place, I think.

  5. Cumberland NJ Unemployment Center kept me on hold for 2 hours; I finally had someone answer my call, after providing my information and question regarding the status of my NJ Unemployment Claim the representative disconnected my call.

  6. Excellent list of things to help execute better. Even taking 3 or 4 of these that one does not currently utilize could help immensely.

    1. How did you calculate the total weekly Illinois benefit of $1495? Also, why isn’t Washington and Minnesota listed in your top 5 states with the highest paid unemployment insurance compensation?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please answer a simple Math question: *