Unemployment Climbs to 4.3% March

April 6, 2001 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - As anticipated, the unemployment rate increased from 4.2% to 4.3% in March, a level not seen since July 1999, the Department of Labor announced today.

Businesses trimmed their payrolls by 86,000 jobs in March, the highest level since November of 1991 saw a reduction of 94,000 jobs.

The number contrasts with the 140,000 that were created in February, and marks the first time that jobs have been cut from payrolls since August 2000, when 79,000 jobs were lost.

Though payrolls were cut in most sectors, with losses at bars and restaurants, department stores, car dealers and temporary employment services, manufacturers were worst affected. The industry lost a further 81,000 over the month.

Both average hourly wages and the average length of the work week rose from February’s numbers. Workers now receive an average wage of $14.17, an increase of 0.4% while the work week increased by six minutes to 34.3 hours