The March Employment Situation, released today by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), indicates that total nonfarm employment rose by +236,000 in March on a seasonally adjusted basis. This marks the twelfth consecutive month that nonfarm payroll growth has outpaced expectations per a Bloomberg survey of economists. The national unemployment rate declined to 3.5% from 3.6% in February, even as labor force participation rose from 62.5% in February to 62.6% in March. This uptick in labor force participation implies growth in the supply of candidates looking for work, which is good news for the economy and for the staffing industry.
The BLS also revised down the change in total nonfarm payroll employment for January from +504,000 to +472,000, and the change for February was revised up by 15,000, from +311,000 to +326,000. With these revisions, employment in January and February combined is 17,000 lower than previously reported.
Leisure and hospitality added the most jobs with +72,000, followed by Health and Social Assistance, which added +50,800, and Professional Services (excluding temporary help) which added +49,700. The sectors with the most severe