Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently revealed a dip in the unemployment rate and an increase in total confirm payroll employment.
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Despite prolonged challenges imposed by the pandemic, the U.S. economy is trending upwards — at least in some respects, according to March data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Total nonfarm payroll employment jumped 916,000 while the nationwide unemployment rate fell to 6%, numbers show. The largest gains took place in several industries that have been notably hit hard during the global health crisis, including leisure and hospitality, public and private education and construction.
Related: What to Do If You’ve Lost Your Job Because of COVID-19
In March, nearly two-thirds of the 280,000 jobs that were added in the leisure and hospitality sectors were related to food services and drinking places, the bureau reports. Employment in local government education, state government education and private education also rose by 76,000, 50,000 and 64,000 respectively. Construction jobs increased by 110,000.
Furthermore, among those who were unemployed, the number of people on temporary layoff dropped by 203,000 to 2 million last month, the bureau notes. The figure marks a major drop from the April 2020 high of 18 million. The labor participation rate, however, has changed little since February of last year and currently stands at 61.5%.
And while the unemployment rate is significantly lower than its high in April 2020, it is still higher than it was in February of the same year, the bureau says. Currently, there are 9.7 million people who are unemployed — a small but growing portion of whom are Asian. Last month, the unemployment rate for Asians rose to 6% following a decline in February. The unemployment rate for all other major groups (white, Black and Hispanic / Latinx), on the other hand, fell slightly.