The unemployment rate in remained steady at 5.5% in March. The graph below shows the steady decline over the past year, falling from 6.6% one year ago. The number of long-term unemployed also stayed constant in March. However, this number decreased by 1.1 million over the past year.
Jobs growth did slow in March, with just 126,000 new jobs. This is down from an average of 269,000 new jobs per month over the past twelve months.
There is at least one very good economics lesson in this report: Employment in mining actually fell by 11,000 jobs in March. The BLS report states that the employment declines "were concentrated in support activities for mining, which includes support for oil and gas extraction." Thus the lost jobs are a direct result of the falling gasoline prices over the first few months of this year.