By Teresa Pierce
The March jobs report showed non-farm payroll employment increased by 431,000 jobs and the unemployment rate fell to 3.6%.
This is good news as the number of jobs and the unemployment rate are now back to their pre-pandemic levels. These numbers continue to reflect a strong economic outlook. This month, we’ll dig deeper into the data provided by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Since the start of 2022, at least 1.5 million jobs have been created and the unemployment rate has fallen from 4% to 3.4%, a 50-year low.
- The report marked the 11th consecutive month of job gains above 400,000, the longest such growth on record dating back to 1939.
- Notable job gains continued in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, retail and manufacturing
- Among the main groups of workers, the unemployment rate for adult women (3.3%) fell in March. Unemployment rates for adult males (3.4%), teens (10.0%), whites (3.2%), blacks (6.2%), Asians (2.8%) and of Hispanics (4.2%) was little changed over the month.
- Among the unemployed, the number of permanent
- job losses fell from 191,000 to 1.4 million in March and is little different from its
- February 2020 level of 1.3 million.
- The number of people on temporary layoff was little changed during the month at 787,000 and essentially returned to its February 2020 level. or voluntarily quit their previous job and started looking for a new job, fell by 176,000 to 787,000 in March.
- The number of long-term unemployed (those out of work for 27 weeks or more) fell from 274,000 to 1.4 million. This measure is 307,000 higher than in February 2020. The long-term unemployed represented 23.9% of all unemployed in March.
- The participation rate, at 62.4%, changed little in March. The employment-to-population ratio increased by 0.2% to 60.1%. Both measures remain below their February 2020 values; however, given that so many baby boomers have left the workforce, this number is unlikely to rise above 75%.
- The number of people employed part-time for economic reasons remained roughly unchanged at 4.2 million in March and differs little from its February 2020 level. These people, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working full-time partial because their hours had been reduced or they could not find full-time employment.
- The number of inactive people currently wanting a job rose by 382,000 to 5.7 million in March, following a decline of a similar magnitude the previous month. This measure is above its February 2020 level of 5.0 million. These people were not counted as unemployed because they were not actively looking for work during the 4 weeks preceding the survey or were not available for a job.
- Among inactive people who wanted a job, the number of people marginally attached to the labor force, at 1.4 million, was little changed in March. These people wanted and were available for work and had looked for work in the previous 12 months, but had not looked for work in the four weeks preceding the survey.
- The number of discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached who thought no jobs were available for them, remained essentially unchanged in the month at 373,000.
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Some key takeaways from labor market data:
- The US economy continues to grow and the economic recovery is well underway.
- We continue to face a challenge with the quantity of manpower.
- There are no easy answers to creating, attracting and retaining a quality workforce. As communities, we need to focus on quality of life so that people want to come and live in our area.
- Technology will continue to advance. There are two categories of jobs in the new era: 1.) those augmented by technology and 2.) those replaced by technology.
If you would like more information about the job market or need help creating your preferred professional future, please request assistance at http://www.workforceconnections.org/request-services.html or contact Workforce Connections, Inc. at 608-785-9938.
Teresa Pierce is Executive Director of Workforce Connections