March 2023 BLS Jobs Report

Staffing Hub (04/07/23)

Nonfarm payroll employment gained 236,000 jobs in March, following the addition of 326,000 jobs in February (upward revision), according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). March’s job additions fall below the most recent six-month average of +334,000 jobs.

“Economic reports continue to point to a complex labor market,” said Nicola Hancock, Managing Director – Americas Region at AMS. “There are still almost two jobs for every unemployed worker, yet we’re seeing layoffs and reduced hiring in industries such as tech and banking. At the same time, we’re experiencing employment gains in industries like hospitality and travel. Despite the economic outlook appearing a bit uncertain, the job market is still strong.”

Continued growth in leisure and hospitality, losses in temp help and retail trade

Leisure and hospitality gained the most jobs over the month, adding 72,000 jobs, primarily in food services and drinking places (+50,000). However, March’s job growth for the industry was below the average monthly gain over the past six months (+95,000), and, overall, the industry is still below its pre-pandemic level by 368,000 jobs (2.2%).

Other notable job gains in February included:

  • Government (+47,000)
  • Professional and business services (+39,000)
  • Health care (+34,000)
  • Social assistance (+17,000)
  • Transportation and warehousing (+10,000)

At +26,000, professional, scientific, and technical services had the bulk of the job gains in professional business services in March. “Tech job vacancies remain high despite layoffs,” said Jason Pyle, President and Managing Director of Harvey Nash USA, “and the industry continues to add jobs. As jobs are added, there’s an opportunity for small and mid-size companies to tap into talent from large organizations that they’ve been scrambling to secure for years.”

On the opposite end, retail trade decreased by 15,000 jobs over the month. And temporary help services lost February’s gains, dropping 11,000 jobs in March.

Unemployment edges down to 3.5%

The unemployment rate inched down from 3.6% in February to 3.5% in March, accounting for 5.8 million unemployed people. Since early last year, these numbers have shown little net movement.

The major worker groups experienced a decline in unemployment rates or little to no change over the month:

  • Adult men: 3.4% (3.3% in February)
  • Adult women: 3.1% (3.2% in February)
  • Teenagers: 9.8% (11.1% in February)
  • Black: 5.0% (5.7% in February)
  • Hispanic: 4.6% (5.3% in February)
  • Asian: 2.8% (3.4% in February)
  • White: 3.2% (3.2% in February)

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