This morning’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) employment report for the month of March showed an addition of 88,000 jobs and a slightly lowered unemployment rate of 7.6%. Positive revisions to the January and February reports added an additional 61,000 jobs to the economy than previously thought.
There were a number of sectors with gains including construction (+18,000), professional and business services (+51,000), healthcare (+23,400) and leisure and hospitality (+17,000). Temporary help services also saw an increase (+20,300), a sign that employers may be opting to continue hiring temporary, or temporary to hire employees rather than making immediate permanent hires.
The report was a bit of a mixed bag, with many economists anticipating job growth closer to the 195,000 range. The private sector gained 95,000 jobs last month, but overall increases were tempered by losses in the public sector—particularly within the U.S. Postal Service, retail and trade, transportation and utilities. The slightly downward unemployment rate came from Americans who either put their job search on hold, or stopped looking for work in March.
In the last year, hiring growth has averaged 169,000 jobs per month. This report is certainly a sign that while progress is being made in the jobs landscape, there will continue to be bumps in the road. It’s now more apparent than ever that growth will be a long incline rather than quick spurts towards total recovery.
At Adecco, we’re seeing an ongoing demand for temporary help with an increasing amount of our temporary positions becoming permanent ones. Additionally, we continue to see a demand for skilled labor in areas such as business and professional services, IT and engineering.