WASHINGTON – The U.S. unemployment rate remained at 9.7 percent in March as the economy added 162,000 jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“(These) numbers show that the steps we have taken over the past year have put the American economy on the right track,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis.

Temporary help services added 40,000 jobs over the month. Since September 2009, temporary help services employment has risen by 313,000, the BLS reported.

Health care also continued to increase in March, adding 27,000 jobs. The largest gains were in ambulatory health care services and nursing and residential care facilities.

“While we are encouraged to see continued growth in the temporary help services sector, the manufacturing sector has seen modest job growth over the last three months,” Solis said.

While the job growth in March is encouraging, Solis said there is still more work to do.

“Fifteen million Americans are still unemployed, 6.5 million have been looking for work for more than six months,” Solis said. “Job creation continues to be the administration’s primary focus, and we are tackling the problem from all angles.”

More Information: