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U.S. adds 40,200 temp jobs in March

April 02 2010

U.S. temporary help payrolls rose by 40,200 jobs in March while total nonfarm payrolls increased by 162,000 jobs, according to seasonally adjusted numbers released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The U.S. unemployment rate was 9.7% for the third month in a row.

U.S. temporary help payrolls totaled more than 2.0 million in March with the gain of 40,200, according to BLS. However, February's gain in temporary jobs was revised down to 36,700 from the previously reported 47,500.

In addition to a monthly gain, the number of temporary jobs was up 8.9%, or 165,900, on a year-over-year basis. The number of jobs in the temporary help services category has risen by 313,000 since September 2009.

The temporary penetration rate rose to 1.57% in March from 1.54% in February.

During March, the employment services category overall added 42,600 jobs for total employment of 2.7 million. Employment services includes employment placement agencies, temporary help services, executive search services and professional employer organizations.

Total U.S. nonfarm employment reached almost 129.8 million in March, up 162,000 from February. Employment rolls got a boost from the U.S. Census Bureau, which brought on 48,000 temporary workers in March.

The Associated Press reported analysts had expected an addition of 190,000 jobs. Wanted Technologies estimated that the U.S. would post a loss of 52,000 nonfarm jobs in March. Automatic Data Processing's monthly employment report forecast a loss of 23,000 jobs, although its number didn't include Census hiring. The ADP report also cautioned that the BLS numbers for February may have been impacted by inclement weather, and the March numbers could reflect a rebound. ADP's February numbers weren't impacted by the weather.

In addition to employment services, industries adding jobs in March included healthcare, which added 27,000 jobs in March. That compares with healthcare average monthly gain of 18,000 jobs over the prior 12 months.

Manufacturing also added 17,000 jobs in March.

Financial activities lost 21,000 jobs.

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