March 2024 Employment Summary

  • On April 26, 2024

As we’re well into the year, the job market is starting to even out as well. Learn more about employment expectations for the spring season based on data from our latest employment summary. Staff Solve strives to not only assist employers and job seekers with information and process hiring but also inform of the overall economic picture of employment trends in the United States and the possible factors involved.

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 303,000 in March, and the unemployment rate changed little at 3.8 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Job gains occurred in health care, government, and construction.

Both the unemployment rate at 3.8 percent and the number of unemployed people at 6.4 million changed little in March. The unemployment rate has been in a small range of 3.7 percent to 3.9 percent since August 2023.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more), at 1.2 million, was little changed in March. The long-term unemployed accounted for 19.5 percent of all unemployed people.

In March, the labor force participation rate at 62.7, and the employment-population ratio, at 60.3 percent, changed little. These changed little throughout the year. The number of persons employed part-time for economic reasons, at 4.3 million, changed little in March. 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 persons in the labor force who currently want a job was 5.4 million in March, which changed slightly. 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 persons marginally attached to the labor force changed little at 1.6 million in March. The number of discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believed that no jobs were available for them, at 337,000, also changed little.

In March, the construction industry added +39,000 jobs, which is almost double the average monthly gain of 19,000 over the prior 12 months. Over the month, employment increased in nonresidential specialty trade contractors (+16,000).

Employment showed little or no change over the month in other major industries, including mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction; manufacturing; wholesale trade; transportation and warehousing; information; financial activities; and professional and business services.

In March, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls 

increased by 12 cents, or .3 percent, to $34.69. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 4.1 percent. In March, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees rose by 7 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $29.79. The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose slightly by 0.1 hour to 34.4 hours. The average work week for production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 0.1 hour to 33.9 hours.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for January was revised up by 27,000, from +229,000 to +256,000, and the change for February was revised down by 5,000, from +275,000 to +270,000. With these revisions, employment in January and February combined is 22,000 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.)

Staff Solve continues to provide high-quality candidates and jobs in diverse markets for over 30 years. Let us take the stress off you so you can focus on your business by finding the perfect applicant for the position. If you are looking for employment, please visit our job seeker page and check out our job board for current positions. If you would like more information about the services we offer employers, visit our employer page or contact us today.

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