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Manufacturing jobs were unchanged in March, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In March, construction employment increased by 6,000, following a gain of 59,000 in February. Employment in construction has been trending up since late last summer, largely among specialty trade contractors and in residential building.
Overall, total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 98,000 in March, and the unemployment rate dropped slightly to 4.5 percent.
In March, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed over the month at 1.7 million and accounted for 23.3 percent of the unemployed. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed was down by 526,000.
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers), at 5.6 million, was little changed in March but was down by 567,000 over the year. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find full-time jobs.