Average Hourly Wages Are Up

April 2006 News

American employers added 211,000 jobs in March, the Labor Department said last week.


Job growth last month was mostly in the service-providing sector with gains in several industries, including professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, retail trade and health care. Throughout the year, payroll employment has expanded by 2.1 million.


The unemployment rate for the month changed slightly at 4.7 percent. The number of unemployed people and the number of long-term unemployed also slightly moved last month. The number of unemployed was 7 million.


The number of people working part time for economic reasons edged down to 4 million in March. This category includes people who indicate they would like to work full time, but were working part time because their hours had been cut or they were unable to find a full-time job.


Average hourly earnings for production or nonsupervisory workers, excluding farmers, increased by three cents in March to $16.49, seasonally adjusted. This follows a gain of five cents and six cents in January and February, respectively. Average weekly earnings increased by 0.2 percent over the month to $557.36. Over the year, average hourly earnings increased by 3.4 percent and average weekly earnings increased by 3.7 percent.


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