March 2022 Employment Summary

  • On April 12, 2022

Many looking for job opportunities in March wished for luck and sought out the perfect job at the end of the rainbow. Staff Solve strives to assist employers and job seekers with information and process hiring, but the overall economic picture of employment trends in the United States and possible factors involved.

Total employment increased by 431,000 for the month of March, decreasing the unemployment rate by 3.6%, and the number of unemployed persons decreased by 318,000. Among those unemployed, the number of permanent job losers decreased by 191,000 and the number of persons on temporary layoff was little changed over the month at 787,000. Those unemployed persons who quit or voluntarily left their previous job to begin looking for new employment declined by 176,000 to 787,000 in March. The number of long-term unemployed, those jobless for 27 weeks or more, decreased by 274,000 and accounted for 23.9 percent of all unemployed persons for the month. 

The labor force participation rate, at 62.4%, experienced little change while the employment-population ratio increased by 0.2%. Those employed part-time for economic reasons was about unchanged at 4.2 million. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part-time because their hours

had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs. The number of people not in the labor force who currently want a job increased by 382,000, following a decrease of a similar magnitude in the prior month. These individuals were not counted as unemployed because they were not actively looking for work during the 4 weeks preceding the survey or were unavailable to take a job.

Among those not in the labor force who wanted a job, the number of individuals marginally attached to the labor force, at 1.4 million, changed little this month. These individuals wanted and were available for work and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months, but had not looked for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. The number of discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believed that no jobs were available for them, was essentially unchanged over the month at 373,000.

In March, 10.0% of employed persons teleworked because of the coronavirus pandemic, down from 13.0% in the prior month. This data refers to employed persons who teleworked or worked at home for pay at some point in the 4 weeks preceding the survey specifically because of the pandemic. In March, 2.5 million persons reported that they had been unable to work because their employer closed or lost business due to the pandemic – that is, they did not work at all or worked fewer hours at some point in the 4 weeks preceding the survey due to the pandemic. This measure is down from 4.2 million in the previous month. Among those who reported that they were unable to work because of pandemic-related closures or lost business, 15.4% received at least some pay from their employer for the hours not worked, down from the 20.3% reported in February. Among those not in the labor force in March, 874,000 persons were prevented from looking for work due to the pandemic, down from 1.2 million in the prior month. This data is taking into account that to be counted as unemployed, by definition, individuals must be either actively looking for work or on a temporary layoff.

Employment rose by 431,000 for the month, as job gains continued in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, retail trade, and manufacturing. Overall, job growth averaged 562,000 per month in the first quarter of 2022, the same as the average monthly gain for 2021. However, employment is down by 1.6 million, or 1.0%, from its pre-pandemic level in February 2020. Employment in leisure and hospitality continued to increase, with an overall gain of 112,000. Job growth was noticed in food services and drinking places (+61,000) and accommodation (+25,000). Growth continued in professional and business services, which added 102,000 jobs in March. Within the industry, job gains occurred in services to buildings and dwellings (+22,000), accounting and bookkeeping services (+18,000), management and technical consulting services (+15,000), computer systems design and related services (+12,000), and scientific research and development services (+5,000). Employment in retail trade increased by 49,000, with gains in general merchandise stores (+20,000) and food and beverage stores (+18,000). Health and personal care stores, however, lost 5,000 jobs. Manufacturing added 38,000 jobs, with employment in durable goods industries rising by 22,000, transportation equipment by 11,000 and electrical equipment and appliances by 4,000. These gains were partially offset by a loss of 5,000 jobs in nonmetallic mineral products. Nondurable goods manufacturing added 16,000 jobs over the month, including a gain in chemicals (+7,000). 

Employment in social assistance increased by 25,000, with the gain concentrated in individual and family services (+18,000). Employment in construction continued to trend up in March as well (+19,000), and financial activities rose by 16,000, with gains in real estate and rental and leasing (+14,000) and in securities, commodity contracts, and investments (+5,000). Health care employment experienced little change for the month (+8,000), after a large increase occurred a month prior. Transportation and warehousing were essentially unchanged (-1,000), following large gains from the previous 2 months. Couriers and messengers (+7,000) were offset by small losses in other component industries. There was also little change over the month in mining, wholesale trade, information, other services, and government.

Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 13 cents to $31.73 in March. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 5.6%. For March, the average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees rose by 11 cents to $27.06. The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for January was revised up by 23,000, from +481,000 to +504,000, and the change for February was revised up by 72,000, from +678,000 to +750,000. With these revisions, employment in January and February combined is 95,000 higher than previously reported. Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates and from the recalculation of seasonal factors.

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