Today’s the first Friday in a new month, so the US Bureau of Labor Statistics regales us with the previous month’s “Employment Situation Summary.” Once again, the big numbers show little sign of advance or retreat–gross unemployment continues to hold steady at 9.7 percent–but I see other signs of improvement and encouragement, even though the IT sector lost 12,000 jobs in March.
Why do I say this? Let me share some other numbers with you–namely job gains and (losses) for March on a sector-by-sector basis. Only three sectors were down in March (IT among them, alas) while all nine other sectors were at least slightly up for the month. With a strong majority of employment sectors finally showing job growth (though plenty of individual numbers are still in the red, as Table B-1: Employees on nonfarm payrolls by industry sector and selected industry detail will attest), it appears that we are finally turning a corner on the overall employment situation.
Here’s a quick summary of those numbers (positive numbers are unadorned, negative numbers are in parentheses):
|Sector||Net Chg||Sector||Net Chg|
|Mining & Logging||9,000||Construction||15,000|
|Financial Activities||(21,000)||Professional & Business Svcs||11,000|
|Education & Health Svcs||45,000||Leisure & Hospitality||22,000|
Although none of the numbers even begins to put a dent into our overall unemployment, it’s a welcome novelty to see so many of them in positive territory. It’s not enough to move the overall unemployment figure by even one-tenth of a percent (which translates into 157,000 people or so), but it’s still nice anyway.