The U.S. economy added 192,000 jobs in March and the unemployment rate held steady at 6.7 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported Friday. Economists had expected 200,000 new jobs over the month.
The professional services sector led the March growth, adding 57,000 jobs over the month. Most of those were temp jobs. Food services added 30,000 jobs, the health care sector added 19,000 jobs, and construction businesses added another 19,000 jobs. In the public sector, the federal workforce shrank by 9,000 jobs, a loss mostly offset by an increase of 8,000 jobs at the local level.
The BLS also revised January and February job growth figures upward by a combined 37,000 jobs compared to the previously reported gains. January saw 144,000 new jobs, not 129,000 as previously reported. February’s figure was revised up from 175,000 to 197,000.
Long-term joblessness held steady with 3.7 million qualifying for the distinction. That represents a decrease of 837,000 over the past year.