March jobs report shows slower growth amid hope for economic “soft landing”

Dan Li |
Chief Financial Officer | Snagajob + PhD in Economics | Northwestern University

In March, the leisure and hospitality, healthcare, and business services industries saw notable gains as the economy added 236,000 jobs and the unemployment rate fell to 3.5% with wage growth slowing to 4.2%.

Also in this month’s report is the news that the unemployment rate for Black workers dropped to an all-time low of 5%, along with the lowest gap on record between the unemployment rates for Black and White workers.

On Snagajob, hourly jobs are up in the Sales and Marketing, Maintenance, and Management industries, with a stunning 732% increase month over month in Work at Home positions.

We’ve rounded up key insights from coverage of this month’s report:

  • Wall Street Journal: “The labor market remains solid a year after the Fed began aggressively raising interest rates to tame high inflation. Job gains, though, are less broad-based than during the height of the pandemic rebound in 2021 and 2022.”

  • New York Times: “Preston Caldwell, chief U.S. economist at Morningstar Research, said the data offered fresh hope that the Fed could cool off the economy without causing a recession.”

  • Washington Post: “Despite the economic head winds, employers–many of whom have struggled to fill openings–are continuing to hire or at least keep the workers they do have, even as business slows.”

  • Bloomberg:“overall the March data — following strong readings in the prior two months — paint a picture of resilient labor demand that is particularly remarkable as other parts of the economy slow.”

Hourly Jobs

All industry data is from 3/2/20-3/31/2023

Here are the latest overall job numbers:

Overall hourly jobs are up 63% from February 2020's pre-pandemic numbers, and we are seeing a 8% month-over-month decline.

Here are the latest job numbers by industry and category:

Food & Restaurant jobs are flat compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 7% month-over-month gain, and a 30% year-over-year decline.

Hotel & Hospitality jobs are down 43% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 15% month-over-month drop, and a 61% year-over-year decline.

Healthcare jobs are up 217% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 20% month-over-month increase, and a 51% year-over-year growth.

Retail jobs are down 28% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 12% month-over-month drop, and a 53% year-over-year decline.

Warehouse & Logistics jobs are up 341% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 4% decline month-over-month, and with a 42% year-over-year drop.

Shifts by Snagajob requested shifts are up 117.0% compared to pre-pandemic norms. Shifts fill rates are showing a 2% month-over-month increase.