March 2021 Jobs Report: Nearly 1 Million Jobs Added to the Workforce

Posted: April, 14, 2021 | Categories: Job Market Updates


Unemployment Drops to 6.0%

The unemployment rate in March 2021 was at 6.0 percent, 0.2 percent points lower than in February 2021.

Temporary layoffs also decreased by 203,000 from February 2021 to a total of 2.0 million.

The number of people not in the labor force actively looking for a job was unchanged in March from February 2021 but is up by 1.8 million since February 2020.


Quickly Getting Back to Business

In March, 21.0 percent of employees teleworked due to the coronavirus pandemic. This is down from the 22.7 percent of people who teleworked in February.

1.9 million less people reported that they had been unable to work because their employer closed or lost business due to the pandemic.

The number of people prevented from looking for work due to the pandemic also decreased from February 2021 with 3.7 million people compared to the prior month’s 4.2 million.

The average workweek for all employees also increased by 0.3 hours to 34.9 hours in March, following the decline of 0.4 hours the previous month.


Nearly 1 Million Jobs Are Added to the Workforce

March saw 916,000 jobs added to the workforce compared to the previous month’s 379,000 jobs. Job growth in March was widespread with the largest gains in leisure and hospitality, education, and construction. In March, jobs in leisure and hospitality increased by 280,000, as pandemic-related restrictions continue to ease up.


Construction & Engineering Sees Job Growth after February’s Losses Due to Weather

With February’s severe weather conditions, construction saw a loss of 61,000 jobs last month. However, with the sun coming out for spring, March brought back those jobs and more with 110,000 construction jobs added. Growth in March was widespread throughout all sectors of the construction industry with 65,000 jobs added in specialty trade contractors, 27,000 in heavy and civil engineering, and 18,000 in construction of buildings.


Many Industries Saw Notable Job Gains

Employment services accounted for 12,900 jobs added to the workforce in March, with temporary help service gains remaining relatively unchanged from February 2021.

The following industries also saw some notable changes in March:

  • Real Estate: 10,000 jobs added
  • Rental and Leasing: 1,700 jobs added
  • Residential Construction: 10,200 jobs added
  • Office Administrative Services: 3,000 jobs added
  • Repair and Maintenance: 18,300 jobs added
  • Professional and Business Services: 66,000 jobs added


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Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2021b, April 2). The Employment Situation - March 2021 [Press release].

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