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BLS Jobs Report Rundown – March 2024

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its comprehensive report on Friday, April 5th, 2024, offering a detailed look into the state of the United States job market for March. Here’s a summary of the key findings and their implications:

March 2024 BLS Report – Non-farm Payroll 

Chart of total nonfarm employment

There was a notable increase in employment, with 303,000 jobs added in March. This growth is significantly above the average monthly gain of 231,000 observed over the past year, and it also surpasses the Dow Jones estimate of 200,000.

Notable Job Gains: The increase in employment was widespread but particularly strong in health care, government, construction, leisure & hospitality, social assistance, and retail trade. This diverse sector growth indicates a broad-based strength in the job market.

Sector-Specific Details:

  • Health Care: Added 72,000 jobs, showing a continued demand in this sector with an average monthly gain of 60,000 over the past 12 months.
  • Government: Saw an increase of 71,000 jobs, significantly above its average monthly gain of 54,000, suggesting an expansion in public sector employment.
  • Construction: Added 39,000 jobs, double its average monthly gain, indicating a strong construction market.
  • Leisure & Hospitality: Continued to recover with 49,000 new jobs, aligning with its role as a leading sector in post-pandemic recovery.
  • Social Assistance: Added 9,000 jobs, although below its average, still suggests ongoing support for community services.

March 2024 BLS Report – Unemployment

Unemployment Rate Chart

The unemployment rate remained stable at 3.8%, with the number of unemployed people little changed at 6.4 million. This rate has fluctuated narrowly between 3.7% and 3.9% since August 2023, indicating a stable job market environment.

March 2024 BLS Report – Average Hourly Earnings:

There was a modest increase in average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls, rising by 12 cents (or 0.3%) to $34.69. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have seen a 4.1% increase, reflecting ongoing wage growth.

Overall Takeaway:

March’s job report reveals a strong and resilient U.S. labor market, with significant job gains across multiple sectors and stable unemployment. The rise in average hourly earnings indicates positive wage growth, although the sustainability of such increases will be crucial to watch in the coming months. Overall, the job market’s current state suggests a healthy economy with widespread employment opportunities across various sectors.

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