Civilian Unemployment Rate: 8.2% in March, down one notch from February. Cycle high jobless rate for the recent recession is 10.0%, registered in October 2009.
Payroll Employment: +120,000 jobs in March vs. +240,000 in February. Private sector jobs increased 121,000 after a gain of 233,000 in February. A net gain of 4,000 jobs due to revisions of payroll estimates of January and February.
Private Sector Hourly Earnings: $23.39 in March vs. $23.34 in February; 2.1% y-o-y increase in March vs. 2.0% gain in February.
Household Survey – The unemployment rate edged down to 8.2% in March from 8.3% in February. The jobless rate at 8.3% in the first quarter of 2012 shows a noticeable decline from a year ago when it stood at 9.0%. A broad measure of unemployment (U5) including those marginally attached to the labor force (people who wanted and were available for work and had looked for employment in the past year but not in the four weeks prior to the survey) fell to 9.6% in March from 9.8% in the prior month.