By Jamie Zananiri

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released their March 2022 report, so let’s take a look at how employment fared over the last month.

The great news: At 3.6%, unemployment is only a tenth of a percent away from its pre-pandemic historic low of 3.5%. The industries that garnered the largest share of the latest job gains of the 431,000 jobs added in March were leisure and hospitality, and professional and business services. Over 90% of the jobs lost at the start of the pandemic have been recovered.

The good news: After months of stagnant gains and some losses, women made up the majority of the new jobs filled in March.

The bad news: While wages have overall increased over the last year, up 5.6%, they have not kept up with inflation of 7.9%. Rising fuel and food prices are eating into the wage gains employees are seeing. Black and Hispanic workers are still struggling to join their peers, with unemployment rates higher than the national average.

Keep in mind: The end of the student loan moratorium in May will be an additional strain on many households. WIth rising inflation and cost of living, wages are going to be where employers can be the most competitive.

Key Takeaways: With unemployment edging ever closer to February 2020 lows and cost of living continuing to rise, employers that are seeking to add staff will need to raise wages in order to attract candidates. While women overall did see gains last month, women and minority groups are not seeing the same job gains as white men- savvy employers should be reviewing their diversity and inclusion practices to ensure they are attracting quality candidates from all backgrounds.

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