Marching Up But Falling Short: The U.S. Job Market

Marching Up But Falling Short: The U.S. Job Market

Commemorated by The Labor Department updated the unemployment data for America on Friday, April 6th; the month of March was disappointing for job growth in the United States compared to the recent trends in February’s job growth. 103,000 jobs were added to the market within the month of March, raising the current total number of jobs to 148 million. The new jobs are based on nonfarm payroll employment numbers in the individual corresponding months. Nonfarm payroll employment is a term used by the Labor Department Bureau to describe all jobs within construction, goods, and manufacturing companies and does not include farm workers, private household employees, nor non-profit organization employees. Compared to February’s high increase in additional jobs and the expected number of new jobs, March falls short. In February, 313,00 jobs were created, which was the most since July 2016, across all three industries (low, middle, and high wage) of the workforce.

March marks the 90th month in a row of growth in the US job market, which is the longest streak on record; this is increasing the recovery from the 2008 recession. Looking deeper into the unemployement market shows even with the increase to the job markets the unemployment stayed at the steady rate of 4.1%;  the statistic of a steady 6.6 million unemployed individuals has remained constant at that rate since October. The average hourly wage for workers in the current market increased from earlier this year. At the beginning of this year the average was $26.11 it has now increased to $26.82. While the 0.10% raise in wages for March is disappointing to the workers themselves but impressive to the overall market. March’s labor force participation rate changed slightly, however, remained around the same as previous months at 60.4% compared to 62.9% from last month.

The lower growth in March compared to the month of February was not a shock to the economists since weather plays significant role in the trends of the market specifically within the beginning of the year. The large growth in February was expected due to the unexpected warm weather throughout the month nationally, which caused inflation within the construction and retail sectors. Those two sectors, specifically, suffered the most within the month of March with the reoccurring winter storms throughout eastern American states. The employment increase was found within three categories; the most notable increases in jobs are in mining, healthcare, professional and business services, and manufacturing.

Manufacturing Sector

Manufacturing employment rose by 22,000 with an additional 9,000 in manufactured metal products and an increase of 3,000 in automotive manufacturing. The durable goods components accounted for three-fourths of the yearly manufacturing increase.

Healthcare Sector

Healthcare sectors added another 22,000 jobs during the past month, which was a steady average over the past year. An additional 16,000 in ambulatory healthcare services and 10,000 in hospitals. Healthcare industry has been continuously adding jobs to the market as this is expected to increase within upcoming months.

Professional & Business Services Sector

Professional and business services continued to grow throughout March. This sector increased by 33,000, however, a drop of 4,000 in the retail trade employment and a drop of 13,000 in general merchandise stores.

Mining Sector

Lastly, mining supplied an additional 9,000 jobs with an additional 6,000 in mining support activities and 2,000 in oil and gas extraction. Construction saw a major drop of 15,000 in March following a 65,000 rise in February.

The expected increase in jobs was 193,000, which is a 90,000 deficit in the predicted numbers. Wages grew 2.7% in March even while falling short of the expected increase in jobs. The meaning of these numbers will impact future unemployment numbers as well future expectation of job numbers. The implications of the unemployment rate severely impacts the state of the economy and the future projections based on the history and trends in the market. In order to see where 2018 will lead us in terms of the job market; we’ll just have to see where it leads us based on the internal trends as well as many fluctuating aspects within the external environment that will impact unemployment.




Casselman, Ben. “U.S. Job Growth Eased in March.”

Cox, Jeff.

Gillespie, Patrick.

“The Jobs Numbers.”


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