Skip to main content

The job market continued to expand in March, thanks to these industries

215,000 jobs were added last month, with gains concentrated in a few key sectors.

The job market continued to expand in March, thanks to these industries

The March jobs report is out from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the results met expectations with 215,000 jobs added last month. While not as spectacular as the 242,000 added in February (since revised up to 245,000), it’s still a nice, solid number—in line with the signs of a solidifying job market and ahead of economist predictions of 213,000.

The retail sector saw the biggest gains, adding 48,000 new jobs. The majority of these occurred in general merchandise stores (12,000), but health and personal care stores and garden supply stores also saw gains of 10,000. Monster’s own data confirmed this growth, with the latest Monster 100—which identifies the companies that created the most job listings in the past seven days—including retailers like Forever 21 and The Men’s Wearhouse.

Health care and construction had a strong month as well, with both adding 37,000 positions last month. The former isn’t a shocker—health care is typically a growth area—but it’s pleasant surprise to see construction keeping pace, particularly during a cold month. (For comparison, the sector saw gains of 19,000 in February). Health care, meanwhile, accounted for 12% of the Monster 100 in April.

Elsewhere, gains were seen in food services and drinking places (25,000) and financial activities (15,000), and professional and business services held steady at 33,000.

A few industries also saw declines in March. Mining employment dropped by 12,000, continuing its downward trend since peaking in September 2014 (it’s shed 185,000 jobs since then). The manufacturing sector also fell by 29,000, mainly in durable goods industries (-24,000).

All told, March was another solid month for jobs. According to Bloomberg, a continued streak of over 200,000 jobs most likely denotes a healthy labor market, while the low unemployment rate—mostly unchanged at 5%—is another positive. Average hourly earnings also bumped up by seven cents to $25.43, after dropping by two cents in February (they’ve risen by 2.3% so far this year).

The April jobs report comes out Friday, May 6. But to find out who’s hiring now, check out the latest edition of the Monster 100.

Like what you’ve read? Join Monster to get personalized articles and job recommendations—and to help recruiters find you.

MORE FROM MONSTER:


Back to top