Construction Reaches Pre-Pandemic Employment Levels, All Industries Add Jobs in March

April 4, 2022
Author: Mallory Vachon, Ph.D., Sr. Economist

In March, the economy added 431,000 jobs, in line with economists’ expectations. March’s numbers represent the continuation of an impressive stretch of growth. The economy has added an average of 560,000 jobs per month since January 2021, nearly three times the average gains before the pandemic. With these strong numbers, all major industries added jobs, led by Leisure & Hospitality with 112,000 jobs, and Construction became the fifth industry to reach pre-pandemic employment levels.

National Job Gains by Industry | March 2022

Trends to Watch

Construction recovers. Construction added 19,000 jobs in March to reach pre-pandemic employment levels. The industry joins four others – Financial Activities, Information, Professional & Business Services, Trade, Transportation & Utilities – that have already recovered.

Leisure & Hospitality adds most jobs. The industry added 112,000 jobs and remains 1.5 million jobs below pre-pandemic levels. Leisure & Hospitality has consistently added the most jobs each month, largely because the industry had some of the biggest job losses at the outset of the pandemic. As businesses solidify return-to-office plans, Leisure & Hospitality should continue to benefit from increased traffic in city centers.

Businesses look across industries for talent. While March’s jobs report indicates the strength and resilience of the U.S. economy, the labor market remains incredibly tight. The unemployment rate dropped to 3.6%, just above the pre-pandemic level of 3.5%. Low unemployment rates mean that nearly all available workers already have a job. Increased competition for talent is changing the rules, and businesses may need to search across industries to find talent.

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