The Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that payrolls grew by 431,000 in March and unemployment clocked in at 3.6%, which is a pandemic-era low.
While experts predicted for job growth to reach 490,000, the jobless rate slightly exceeded expectations of 3.7%
This comes as inflation and global affairs continue to impact economies all over the world.
Another measure of unemployment that includes discouraged workers and part-time workers fell 0.3 percentage points to 6.9% from February.
Job participation grew by one-tenth of a percentage point and is now within 1 point of its pre-pandemic levels seen in February 2020. The labor force is also within 174,000 jobs of its pre-pandemic levels.
“All in all, nothing shocking about this report. There was nothing that was really surprising,” said Simona Mocuta, chief economist at State Street Global Advisors. “Even if this report came in at zero, I would still say this is a very healthy labor market.”
Hourly earnings also grew by 0.4% during March, while the average work week slightly dipped by 0.1 hour to 34.6 hours.
Leading the pack in job growth has been the leisure and hospitality industry with 112,000 jobs. Following closely behind was the professional and business services industry with 102,000 and retail at 49,000.
This slightly optimistic trajectory for job growth comes at a time when the economy is at a critical crossroads in terms of pandemic recovery. Although hiring is seeing an uptick, there are still around 5 million more job openings than there are workers.