916,000 Jobs Added to Economy as US Businesses Emerge from Pandemic

bls jobs report march 2021

Here’s some more positive economic news: 916,000 jobs were added to the US economy in March.

That’s the latest from the Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning, a sure sign that businesses in America are beginning to fully recover from COVID pandemic restrictions that had them teetering on the edge for the last year.

The biggest jobs gains in the last month are seen in the leisure and hospitality industry, public and private education, and construction, according to BLS information out Friday.

Earlier this week, we reported on the latest ADP Small Business Report that showed 174,000 jobs added by America’s smallest companies, including more than 100,000 jobs from companies with less than 20 employees.

BLS: 916,000 Jobs Added in March

In addition to the resoundingly positive jobs figures, unemployment levels tumbled, too. However, the US economy is not quite back to pre-pandemic levels, BLS reports.

In March, the unemployment rate in the US is at 6%. That’s 2.5% higher than February 2020, the last month before pandemic restrictions affected a majority of businesses in America. There are currently 9.7 million Americans still out of work, about 4 million more than there were back in February last year.

Approximately 2 million Americans are on temporary layoff, which is down by about 203,000 over the last month. To put that number in perspective, consider that in April 2020, about 18 million people were on a temporary layoff from their job. But again, there’s still room for improvement to reach pre-pandemic levels.

Long-term unemployment is still high overall, too. About 4.2 million people have been out of work

Telework Declining

Another positive sign from this month’s jobs report from BLS is the rate of people working from home, caused by the pandemic. As more states fully reopen, more people are headed back to work in their traditional setting, too.

The rate of people working from home due to pandemic restrictions dropped from 22.7% to 21% in March. And about 2 million less Americans over the last month said their hours were reduced or cut entirely due to pandemic restrictions on the business that employed them.

Jobs by Industry

Here’s a look at the top industries’ jobs numbers for March 2021:

  • Leisure and hospitality: +280,000
  • Public and private education: +190,000
  • Construction: +110,000
  • Professional, business services: +66,000
  • Manufacturing: +53,000
  • Transportation and warehousing: + 48,000
  • Retail trade: +23,000
  • Financial activities: +16,000

Image: Depositphotos

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Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is the Editor for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 16 years. A professional journalist with 20 years of experience in traditional media and online media, he attended Waynesburg University and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. He has held roles of reporter, editor and publisher, having founded his own local newspaper, the Pottsville Free Press.