The first quarter came to a close last week, so today we’re taking a minute to go over the highlights from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2022 Q1 Jobs Report. This news release from the BLS presents statistics garnered from two distinct surveys. The household survey and the establishment survey. The former measures labor force status, including unemployment, by demographic characteristics. The latter measures non-farm employment, hours, and earnings by industry.
Overall, employers expanded payrolls by a total of 431,000 new jobs, falling short of economists’ forecast of 490,000 new jobs. However, the March jobs report also notes that employment in January and February 2022 was higher than previously reported — by 95,000 jobs. Based on these adjustments, the United States has added nearly 1.7 million jobs since the start of 2022, or about 562,000 jobs per month.
Employment in transportation and warehousing was essentially unchanged in March
(-1,000), following large gains in the prior 2 months. However, the total Q1 growth in the sector is coming in at a whopping 608,000 new jobs, higher than even pre-pandemic numbers. Overall, the transportation and warehousing industry has grown its share of employment over the past two years, going from representing 3.8% of the U.S. workforce in February 2020 to representing 4.2% in Q1 of 2022.
Other notable job gains continued in leisure & hospitality, professional & business services, as well as education & health. You can view the chart below to see a representation of all notable sectors excluding transportation & warehousing.
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Dropping Unemployment Rates
The US unemployment rate has been on a steady decline coming in at 3.6% for the quarter, a near match to the 3.5% rate seen just before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.
There was also a decline in the unemployment rate for college-degreed workers who are 25 or older dropping from 2.2% in February to end the quarter at 2.0%. This demographic makes up the bulk of the most highly sought-after job candidates.
Fewer Pandemic Complications
The Household survey supplemental data from the BLS also shows that the number of people unable to work or working fewer hours due to pandemic concerns fell from 6.0 million in January, to 4.2 million in February and ended the quarter at 2.5 million.
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