April 19, 2022

Member Jobs Update – March 2022


The labor force grew by 418,000 workers in March and is now within 174,000 of the pre-pandemic state. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the unemployment rate at 3.6% on Friday. As has been the case through much of the Covid pandemic recovery, leisure and hospitality led job creation with a gain of 112,000.The numbers come with the economy at a critical juncture in its pandemic recovery phase. Though hiring on the top line has been strong, there remains a gap of about 5 million more job openings than available workers. “All in all, nothing shocking about this report. There was nothing that was really surprising,” said Simona Mocuta, chief economist at State Street Global Advisors in an interview with CNBC. “Even if this report came in at zero, I would still say this is a very healthy labor market.”

The biggest attention-getter has been inflation, running at its fastest pace since the early 1980s and helping constrain consumer spending as wage gains haven’t been able to keep up with prices. At the same time, the war in Ukraine has dampened sentiment and added to supply chain issues. And rising interest rates are showing signs of slowing the red-hot housing market.

To combat inflation, the Federal Reserve is planning a series of interest rate hikes that further would slow growth. Markets now are anticipating rate increases at each of the six remaining Fed meetings this year, likely starting with a half percentage-point move in May and continuing to total 2.5 percentage points before 2022 comes to a close.


Equity & Inclusion in our Recovery

March was a strong month for women in terms of jobs added and labor force participation, with women accounting for 62.9% of added jobs. Even with this progress, however, the National Women’s Law Center explains that the economy is still down nearly 1.6 million net jobs since February 2020, and women are down over 1.1 million net jobs since February 2020.  In addition, women account for all labor force leavers since February 2020, with ongoing caregiving demands continuing to keep women out of the workforce. National Women’s Law Center

March saw positive movement for Black women, who have been trailing behind in America’s economic recovery. In March, more Black women entered the labor force — meaning they were working or actively looking for work — and fewer were unemployed.  The Insider

The number or workers age 65 and over who are not in the labor force grew by over 2.6 million between February 2020 and March 2022. That number is more than double the 1.1 million increase among adults under age 65 over the same period. AEI

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