The March jobs report was one of the most newsworthy yet, with a total gain of 431,000 nonfarm employment, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Notably, the unemployment rate declined to 3.6 percent, edging it closer to pre-pandemic levels.
This robust jobs report came out amid fears about inflation and a possible recession.
March Jobs Report Highlights
- The biggest gains belonged to leisure and hospitality, one of the hardest-hit economic sectors.
- Food and beverage is showing particularly robust growth.
- Some sectors of the economy have blown past their pre-pandemic levels: employment in professional and business services is 723,000 higher than in February 2020 and retail trade employment is 278,000 above its level in February 2020.
Growth in Leisure and Hospitality
Leisure and hospitality showed a strong gain of 112,000 in March, signaling a strong consumer appetite to get out and enjoy excursions and time outside the home. Most of the job growth occurred in the following areas:
- +61,000 jobs in food services and drinking places
- +25,000 jobs in accommodation
Big gains in Professional and Business Service Jobs
There was also strong job growth in professional and business services in March, with an addition of over 100,000 jobs.
These were concentrated in the following areas:
- 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)
- Scientific research and development services (+5,000).
The Retail Sector Experiences Growth
There were strong gains in retail, with 49,000 jobs added, easing some of the fears around inflation as consumer demand remains strong. The gains were concentrated in:
- General merchandise stores (+20,000)
- Food and beverage stores (+18,000)
Other notable job gains
- Manufacturing added 38,000 jobs in March.
- Employment in financial activities rose by 16,000, with gains in real estate and rental and leasing, securities, commodity contracts, and investments.
Get Tips on Hiring in the Post-Pandemic Economy
- As employees face higher prices on everything from groceries to gas, they expect higher salaries, too. Here’s how to cope.
- See how inflation is affecting hiring decisions in our key industries.
- More worker mobility means more choices for hiring. Read our top tips on hiring in a geographically flexible marketplace.
- What are the unique challenges and opportunities of hiring in 2022. Find out here.
Catch Up With Previous Jobs Reports
- February’s blockbuster growth
- January’s strong growth despite Omicron
- Promising news for hospitality in December
- November’s mixed picture
- October’s robust gains
- A slower-than-expected report in September
- The summer‘s roaring recovery trajectory
- Better than expected growth in June, especially in travel
- Strong signs of recovery in May
- An anemic April jobs report
Edouard Thoumyre is a seasoned executive recruiter with over 17 years of experience in executive search, as the Founder and Managing Partner of ACCUR Recruiting Services. Specializing in the Consumer and Luxury Goods industries, he has a proven track record of placing senior level and C-level executives in family, private equity-backed, and Fortune 500 companies in the beauty, wine & spirits, watch & jewelry, home goods, and tobacco industries, among others. Edouard Thoumyre holds a master’s degree in Entrepreneurship from HEC Paris (#1 European Business School, Financial Times rankings) and a master’s degree in industrial engineering from Centrale Lille (a top 10 French engineering school). ACCUR Recruiting Services has been recognized as a Forbes Top 100 executive search firm since 2018.
Edouard Thoumyre and his firm, ACCUR Recruiting Services, have been featured in numerous publications such as WWD, Business Insider, Newsweek, CPG Specialist, Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq.com, Marketplace by NPR, Business of Fashion…