March 2021 Job Summary Report

  • On April 8, 2021

March gave many the opportunity to relax with Spring Break, and others opportunities to try to improve their employment situation. 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. 

Employment rose by 916,000 for March, decreasing the unemployment rate to six percent. However, the data is still 2.5% higher than in February 2020. Improvements are due to the resuming of economic activity that was previously affected by the coronavirus. Notable industries attributing to the increase in employment are leisure and hospitality, public and private education, and construction.

The number of people temporarily displaced decreased by 203,000 while the number of permanent job losers experienced little change. Long-term unemployed persons also had little change in March and accounts for 43.4% of the total unemployment rate. Those jobless for 5 to 14 weeks declined by 313,000 and persons jobless for less than 5 weeks did not change for the month when compared to February of 2021 data. Part-time employed personnel, who would’ve preferred full-time but couldn’t due to reduced hours or inability to find full-time opportunities, remained the same. People not in the labor force who currently want a job but do not have one also remained unchanged.

In March, 21% of employed personnel worked remotely due to the pandemic and decreased when compared to data from February 2021. 11.4 million people reported the inability to work due to employers closing or losing a business because of the virus, a 1.9 million decrease from last month. However, 12% of those who couldn’t work for that reason received at least some pay from their employer. 

Job gains were widespread in March, with leisure and hospitality, public and private education, and construction being the top industries contributing to the positivity. Employment in leisure and hospitality increased by 280,000, with two-thirds of the increase identified in food services and drinking places (176,000). Arts, entertainment, and recreation contributed 64,000, and accommodation provided 40,000. In private and public education, job increase was due to increased participation in in-person learning and other school-related activities. Government education rose by 76,000, 50,000 by state government education, and 64,000 by private education. Construction provided 110,000 jobs, a reverse from February’s data, and noted gains in specialty trade contractors (65,000), heavy and civil engineering construction (27,000), and construction of buildings (18,000). 

The professional and business services industry rose 66,000, administrative and support services by 37,000, management and technical consulting services by 8,000, and computer system designs and related services by 6,000. Manufacturing employment increased by 53,000, with gains noted in durable goods (30,000) and nondurable goods (23,000). Transportation and warehousing contributed 48,000 jobs, with 17,000 from couriers and messengers, transit and ground passenger transportation with 13,000, and support activities for transportation as well as air transportation at 6,000 each. 

Employment in other service industries increased by 42,000, with personal laundry services giving 19,000 and repair and maintenance giving 18,000. Social assistance added 25,000 jobs in March, mainly in individual and family services with 20,000 jobs. Wholesale trade increased by 24,000, with job increases in both durable goods (14,000) and nondurable goods (10,000). Retail trade added 23,000 jobs. Clothing and clothing accessories stores offered 16,000 opportunities, motor vehicle and parts dealers at 13,000, and furniture and home furnishing stores at 6,000. However, losses occurred in retail trade for sectors in building material and garden supply stores (-9,000) and general merchandise stores (-7,000).

Mining job opportunities increased by 21,000, financial activities adding 16,000, insurance and related services at 11,000, and real estate increased by 10,000. Offsetting the progress, credit intermediation and related activities lost 7,000 job offerings while health care and information remained the same. 

In March, average hourly earnings for private nonfarm payroll decreased by four cents, while average hourly earnings in the private sector increased by two cents. Employment fluctuations are due to the pandemic, which affects the trend of average hourly earnings for both groups.

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