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The March Jobs Report: What is the Current US Employment Situation?

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released their monthly look at the US employment situation and the data for March looks encouraging. The labor department jobs report examines a range of US jobs data to gauge the overall health of the US economy, specifically the number of jobs added, the unemployment rate, and what industries are hiring now.

Before we get to the March jobs report, let’s revisit February’s US job numbers. Last month, the BLS reported that nonfarm payroll employment rose ever so slightly by 33,000 jobs while the unemployment rate fell to 3.8% (approximately 6.2 million professionals). A deeper look at the US jobs data and industries hiring in 2019 showed moderate growth in a few areas while others declined or registered no change at all.

  • Professional and business services – 42,000 jobs added
  • Health care – 21,000 jobs added
  • Wholesale trade – 11,000 jobs added
  • Manufacturing – 4,000 jobs added
  • Construction – 31,000 jobs lost
  • Leisure and hospitality, retail trade, transportation and warehousing – no change

The March jobs report is much different than February’s US employment situation report. Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 196,000 and unemployment stayed the same at 3.8%. Here are some other highlights of the labor department jobs report:

  • The number of long-term unemployed remained steady at 1.3 million, accounting for 21.1% of all unemployed workers.
  • The labor force participation rate dropped slightly to 63.0% and has not changed much over the past year.
  • The number of people employed part time for economic reasons (AKA involuntary part-time workers) rose by approximately 200,000 to 4.5 million.
  • Average hourly earnings for all employees on nonfarm payrolls rose by 4 cents to $27.70 after an 11-cent increase in February.

March saw modest growth for a few industries hiring in 2019. Health care added 49,000 jobs, professional and technical services added another 34,000 jobs, and employment at food services and drinking places increased by 27,000 jobs. Employment in the construction industry rose slightly by 16,000 in March, manufacturing experienced a very slight decline (-6,000 jobs), and key industries like leisure and hospitality, retail trade, and transportation and warehousing saw no change.

Overall, the labor department jobs report suggests the economy is in good shape. Whether you’re looking for top talent or searching for your dream job, there’s still plenty of opportunity out there, and you can find it on iHire.


For more information on how the BLS tracks and updates US job numbers and calculates the unemployment rate, check out this informative post on FiveThirtyEight.


by: Freddie Rohner, iHire
April 05, 2019