The Employment Situation for March 2022
Published On: March 7, 2022
Editor's Note: This report is based on survey data from February 2022 that was published in March 2022. This is the most recent data available. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)
The U.S. economy continues to recover its strength in 2022, adding 678k new jobs last month. These latest figures bring the unemployment rate to 3.8%, marking the lowest rate since the pandemic began.
The 678k new jobs represents an almost 50% increase over the new job additions that were initially reported in the previous month. Although the unemployment rate is still 0.3% below its pre-pandemic level (and while more than half a million jobs have yet to return), economists argue that the economy has essentially recovered at this point.
What’s more, given that the pandemic spurred significant business restructuring and encouraged more retirees to leave the workforce earlier than planned, many of those jobs and workers will not return. Additionally, with private sector employment now within 1% of pre-pandemic levels, it would be fair to characterize the economic recovery as largely complete. Although another COVID-19 variant could emerge and derail some of the progress, this employment milestone is significant nonetheless and certainly deserves to be celebrated.
A full economic recovery, however, does not mean that COVID-19’s impacts are a thing of the past; still, indicators continue to move in the right direction. For example, nearly 13% of all employees worked remotely at some point over the past month–a figure that is down 2.5% from the month prior. Similarly, the number of Americans who reported an inability to work because of business lost to COVID-19 was down 30% from the month before.
For the 678k new jobs added, leisure and hospitality led the way with almost 180k. Professional and business services, followed by healthcare and construction, rounded out the top four industries with the largest job gains during the period, with 95k, 64k, and 60k new jobs reported, respectively.
The only industries that did not experience significant job growth last month were the information and government sectors.
Mployer Advisor’s Take:
New COVID-19 cases in the U.S. fell by about 90% in February–a fact that certainly contributed to the good news contained in the latest economic report. But the destabilization and invasion of Ukraine–one of the Eurasian continent’s largest grain suppliers–will continue to be negatively felt around the globe in the coming days and months ahead. Of course, time will only tell the extent to which international uncertainty may impact economic news at home.
Founder and CEO, Mployer Advisor