Employers expanded payrolls by 431,000 jobs in March, according to the latest jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). These gains fell short of economists’ forecast of 490,000 jobs.

However, the March jobs report also notes that employment in January and February 2022 was higher than previously reported — by 95,000 jobs. Based on these adjustments, the United States has added nearly 1.7 million jobs since the start of 2022, or about 562,000 jobs per month.

Professional and business services among industries reporting strong job gains

Leisure and hospitality once again led the way with monthly payroll expansion, adding 112,000 jobs in March as the industry continues to recover from pandemic-related business disruption.

The professional and businesses services industry was also a leader in job creation last month. The BLS reports that employers in this sector added 102,000 jobs, including 4,900 in temporary help services.

Other industries that saw notable payroll expansion last month include:

  • Education and health services: 53,000 jobs added
  • Retail trade: 49,000 jobs added
  • Manufacturing: 38,000 jobs added
  • Construction: 19,000 jobs added
  • Financial activities: 16,000 jobs added
  • Information: 16,000 jobs added

Unemployment rate slides to 3.6%

The national unemployment rate was 3.6% in March, down from 3.8% in February. This figure is near the 3.5% rate seen just before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.

The unemployment rate for college-degreed workers who are 25 or older also declined last month to 2.0%, from 2.2% in February. These professionals are the most highly sought-after job candidates.

Number of employed persons working remotely falls to 10.0%

The BLS reports that 10.0% of employed persons teleworked in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, down from 13% in February. The BLS describes these workers as employed persons who worked away from the office for pay at some point in the last four weeks specifically because of the pandemic.

Number of people unable to work due to the pandemic drops to 2.5 million

Household survey supplemental data from the BLS also finds that the number of people unable to work at all, or who worked fewer hours at some point in the four weeks preceding the latest survey due to the pandemic, was 2.5 million. That figure was 4.2 million in February; in January, it was 6.0 million.

Keep up to date with the latest hiring trends

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