Employment numbers may not have been their highest in March, but experts remain hopeful that the economy will continue to strengthen throughout the next several months. Now that winter has finally passed and companies have the capacity to build their workforce, industries are reporting improvements in hiring, production and output.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the country added 192,000 jobs in the month of March. This number is slightly lower than economists’ prediction of 200,000, but still illustrates continued recovery. Unemployment remained unchanged at 6.7 percent.
Joseph Lake, a U.S. analyst for The Economic Intelligence Unit, explained that the growth could be attributed to companies performing better in the warmer months.
“Firms and consumers are making investments they deferred in January,” Lake said, as quoted by Forbes. “This bounce in economic activity is driving companies to hire at a faster rate … The February and March payroll numbers are promising and suggest that the economy is shaking off the effects of the inclement weather.”
While the majority of industries reported growth, health care, professional and business services, and mining and logging experienced the greatest increases in hiring. Professional and business services added the most jobs, hiring more than 57,000 people in March. In this industry, temporary health services posted the greatest gain, with 29,000 new positions. Other areas that reported higher numbers included computer systems design and related services, which hired 6,000 people, and architectural and engineering services, which added 5,000 positions. Health care posted 19,000 positions while mining and logging added 7,000. Employment in oil and gas within the mining field remained relatively unchanged.
The report noted that construction continued to strengthen across the country as well. The industry added 19,000 jobs in the U.S., but overall employment has gone up by more than 151,000 positions within the last year. Many states have posted improved construction numbers in the past two months, including Minnesota and Michigan. Despite the fact that the majority of states reported high manufacturing employment recently, the report indicated that national numbers remained unchanged.
As the year continues to progress, economists predict employment numbers will rise across the industries. According to Lake, while total employment was lower than predicted, the overall number of people entering the job force was much higher, signaling continued economic growth in the country.