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March 2021 Employment Data Digest

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March 2021 Employment Data Digest

  • The U.S. economy added 916,000 jobs in March, an increase from the 468,000 jobs added in February. 
  • The overall unemployment rate declined from 6.2 percent to 6.0 percent. The unemployment rate for people ages 55+ dropped sharply from 5.3 percent to 4.5 percent. 
  • In March, over half of jobseekers ages 55 and older were long-term unemployed (54.1 percent) compared with 40.8 percent of jobseekers ages 16 to 54.  
  • In March, the year-over-year employment rate for individuals ages 55+ decreased from 38.3 percent to 36.5 percent. 

OVERALL U.S. WORKFORCE:

  • 916,000 jobs added in March ↑
  • Unemployment rate: 6.0 percent ↓
  • Number of unemployed persons: 9.7 million ↓ 
  • Labor force participation rate: 61.5 percent ↑
  • Long-term unemployed ages 16–54: 40.8 percent ↑

55 AND OLDER U.S. WORKFORCE:

  • 35.6 million 55+ workers employed in March ↑
  • 55+ unemployment rate: 4.5 percent ↓
  • Number of 55+ unemployed persons: 1.7 million ↓
  • 55+ labor force participation rate: 38.2 percent ↓
  • 55+ long-term unemployed: 54.1 percent ↑

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Arrows denote a directional change from the prior month.

About the PPI Monthly Employment Data Digest

The AARP Public Policy Institute’s (PPI) latest monthly digest of employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) examines the findings from the Employment Situation Report. It takes a closer look at employment data for people ages 55 and over, including labor force participation, employment rates, and duration of unemployment. 

For more analysis from PPI expert Jennifer Schramm on employment trends and older workers, see our blog