Hiring Up, Unemployment Down

Jobs Growth

Jobs creation in March climbed to 303,000, exceeding economists’ estimates and the previous month’s adjusted growth figure of 270,000. March activity was well ahead of the 12-month average of 231,000.

Top Industries

The sectors experiencing the strongest gains in March included healthcare, government, and construction. Employment in leisure and hospitality returned to its pre-pandemic level, not seen since February 2020.


The unemployment rate slipped back from 3.9% in February to 3.8% in March. 


Compensation growth accelerated slightly compared to the prior month, with average hourly wages up by 0.3% in March and 4.1% for the past 12-month period. 

Work Week

The average work week gained another 0.1 hour in March to hit 34.4 hours for the month.

Temporary Job Trends

Negative trends in the temp sector slowed significantly in comparison to the previous month, with losses dropping by nearly 90% to only 1,300 jobs in March.

What Does It All Mean?

The most recent report of labor market activity returned strong results, with solid numbers of new jobs created and lower unemployment for the month. This was accompanied by mild increases in compensation and weekly hours worked. A strong labor market typically signals a strong economy, although many individuals are still looking for additional improvements in current conditions. 

Topping the wish list is the expectation of lower interest rates, which would positively impact business investment and home ownership, among other things. Continuing robust jobs creation allows the Federal Reserve to hold off on rate cuts, however. 

Continuing concerns about inflation and the ability of families to stretch their dollars further to cover typical household purchases has raised a question as to whether more people are taking on part-time work to supplement their incomes. Based on the latest BLS data, that is not the case, as there has been little month-over-month change in the number of individuals employed in part-time jobs.

While it appears that more employees are making the decision to stay with their current job, there is still ample opportunity in the market for both candidates and employers to explore new opportunities.

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), CNBC, NBC News, Staffing Industry Analysts, FOX News, CNN, Bloomberg, AP News, USA Today, Reuters, US News & World Report.