Job Market Continues Hot Streak Despite Persistent Layoffs

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Will Kessler Contributor
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The U.S. added 303,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in March as the unemployment rate ticked down to 3.8%, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data released Friday.

Economists anticipated that the country would add 200,000 jobs in March compared to the 275,000 jobs that were added in initial estimates for February, and that the unemployment rate would remain unchanged at 3.9%, according to Reuters. The job gains are in spite of persistent layoffs that reached a 14-month peak in March at 90,309. (RELATED: You’re Going To Need To Pray For Your Wallet When You See What Resurrected Inflation Has Done To Easter Prices)

Previous jobs numbers have been subject to substantial revisions after their initial announcements, with the federal government overestimating the number of jobs in the economy by an average of 105,000 per month in 2023, totaling around 1.3 million. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, in its estimates, found that the U.S. only added 186,000 in the third quarter of 2023, down from current BLS estimates of 640,000.

Inflation has continued to wreak havoc on businesses looking to hire, rising a total of 18.5% under President Joe Biden and most recently rising 3.2% year-over-year. The Federal Reserve has set the federal funds rate to a range of 5.25% and 5.50%, the highest level in 23 years, to combat high inflation and slow down the economy.

U.S. economic growth has remained above trend in the last two quarters, increasing 3.4% in the fourth quarter of 2023 and 4.9% in the third quarter, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The gains in gross domestic product were less than half the amount of debt the federal government took on in the fourth quarter.

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