The Latest from the BLS Employment Report
The third jobs report of 2017 showed that the economy continues to trend positively. The Labor Department reports that 98,000 jobs were added in March. The unemployment rate dropped to noticeable 4.5 percent, down .2 percent from last month.
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for January was revised down from 238,000 to 216,000. The numbers for February were revised down from 235,000 to 219,000. With these revisions, employment gains in January and February combined were 38,000 less than previously reported. Job gains have averaged 178,000 over the past three months.
With the unemployment rate at a new post-crisis low, and the rise in wages of 0.2 percent over last month and 2.7 percent over the prior year, this jobs report is solid. The broader underemployment rate, which reflects not only those out of work but those working part-time that would prefer full-time work, fell to 8.9 percent after hitting 9.2 percent in February, which also marks a new post-crisis low.
Economists predicted 180,000 additions ahead of this morning’s jobs report and the report fell short of expectations with 98,000 jobs added. While the actual number of jobs added was lower than the predicted number of 180,000, the dip in the unemployment rate is encouraging.
This months report
Let’s break down the numbers from this month’s report.
In March, hourly wages increased by $0.03 to $26 per hour, following a 6 cent decrease in February. This brings the year-over-year wage percentage increase to 2.5 percent. The unemployment rate saw a slight uptick to 4.5 percent.
- $26.14 March
- 0.05 month-over-month
- 2.7% year-over-year
- $26.09 February
In-Depth Look: Our Industries
Let’s dive right into a look at how our industries compare to the national numbers:
- Month-over-month change: 11,000
- 37,000 jobs added year-over-year
Administrative and support services
- Month-over-month change: 32,700
- 270,200 jobs added year-over-year
- Month-over-month change: 8,700
- 112,100 jobs added year-over-year
- Month-over-month change: 6,000
- 177,000 jobs added year-over-year
Professional and business services
- Month-over-month change: 56,000
- 639,000 jobs added year-over-year
Transportation and warehousing
- Month-over-month change: 3,500
- 88,700 jobs added year-over-year
Office administrative services
- Month-over-month change: 3,100
- 27,900 jobs added year-over-year
- Month-over-month change: 13,500
- 355,200 jobs added year-over-year
The market remains hot for job seekers looking for top HR, non-clinical healthcare and supply chain and logistics positions; therefore employers will need to stay competitive. Make sure you’re paying your people the right salary and doing everything you can to recruit and retain the best talent – check out our 2017 Salary Guide.