Blockbuster March Jobs Report, But Still A Long Way To Go


  • +916,000 million jobs added. The alternate and more volatile measure in the household report indicated a gain of 609,000 jobs, which factors into the unemployment and underemployment rates below.
  • U3 unemployment rate declined 0.2% to 6.0%, compared with the January 2020 low of 3.5%, and the April 2020 high of 14.8%.
  • U6 underemployment rate declined 0.4 to 10.7%, compared with the January 2020 low of 6.9%, and the April 2020 high of 22.9%
  • Those on temporary layoff decreased -203,000 to 2,026,000.
  • Permanent job losers decreased -65,000 to 3,432,000.
  • January was revised upward by 67,000, and February was also revised upward by 89,000, for a net gain of 156,000 jobs compared with previous reports.

Sculpture, Art, Breadline, Bronze, Depression, 1930

Image Source: Pixabay

Leading employment indicators of a slowdown or recession

I have been highlighting these throughout the pandemic because of their leading nature for the economy overall.  These were positive: 

  • the average manufacturing workweek increased 0.2 hours to 40.5 hours. This is one of the 10 components of the LEI.
  • Manufacturing jobs increased by 53,000. Since February 2020 manufacturing has still lost -515,000, or 4% of the total. Over 60% of the total loss of 10.6% has been regained.
  • Construction jobs increased by 110,000 This was a big rebound from February’s Big Texas Freeze. Since February 2020 -182,000 construction jobs have been lost, 2.4% of the total. Over 80% of the worst loss of 12.5% has been regained.
  • Residential construction jobs, which are even more leading, rose by 10,200. YoY there have been actual job gains, and employment in this sector is at another new 10 year+ high.
  • temporary jobs *decreased* by -800. Since February 2020, 175,000 jobs have been lost, or 6% of all temporary help jobs.
  • the number of people unemployed for 5 weeks or less decreased by -8,000 to 2.177 million, compared with last April’s total of 14.283 million.
  • Professional and business employment rose by 66,000, which is still -685,000, or about 3.2% below its peak in February 2020.
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Disclaimer: This blog contains opinions and observations. It is not professional advice in any way, shape or form and should not be construed that way. In other words, buyer beware.

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