Construction employment boosted by an uptick in spring building projects
U.S. employers hired far more workers than expected in March 2021 as the accelerating pace of COVID-19 vaccinations continued to fuel hiring in many industries and at state and local governments, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The construction industry also posted a strong March as the housing market stayed healthy and building activity resumed following the winter months.
The Labor Department reported that total non-farm payroll employment rose by 916,000 last month, the best monthly print since August. The unemployment rate continued its steady decline to six percent.
- U.S. employers hired far more workers than expected in March 2021, thanks to gains in leisure and hospitality, as well as state and local education.
- The construction industry also posted a strong March, as the housing market stayed healthy and building activity resumed following the winter months.
Construction employment, boosted by an uptick in building projects in the springtime months, added 110,000 after falling 56,000 in February. Growth in the industry was widespread in March, with gains of 65,000 in specialty trade contractors, 27,000 in heavy and civil engineering construction, and 18,000 in construction of buildings.
Government hiring proved a bright spot in March with a gain of 136,000 as the vaccine rollout and economic reopening brought teachers back into the classroom. Employment rose by 76,000 in local government education, by 50,000 in state government education, and by 64,000 in private education.
Elsewhere, manufacturing added 53,000 jobs and retail posted a gain of 22,500. Health care and social assistance notched 36,400 and professional and business services rose 66,000.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics