The unemployment rate continued to drop last month, at 8.8% for the month of March 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nonfarm employment rose 216,000 over the month, and the number of unemployed fell from 13.7 million to 13.5 million.
In March, there were increases in the business services, healthcare, leisure and hospitality, manufacturing and mining industries. Business and professional services jobs increased by 78,000, mostly in temporary jobs (+29,000). Healthcare jobs continued to increase, adding 37,000 jobs in March and 283,000 jobs over the past year. Leisure and hospitality jobs also increased by 37,000, mostly in food services and drinking places. Finally manufacturing jobs continued to rise, adding 17,000 positions over the month, as well as mining jobs, adding 14,000.
Employment in local and federal government continued to fall last month, losing 416,000 jobs since a high in September 2008.