Leisure and Hospitality Sector Adds 72,000 Jobs in March – Below the Average Monthly Increase of 95,000 Jobs in the Previous Six Months
According to recent data, the leisure and hospitality sector added 72,000 jobs in March, which is below the average monthly gain of 95,000 jobs in the six months prior.
The majority of the job growth occurred in food services and drinking places, with a notable increase of 50,000 jobs.
However, it’s worth noting that despite the growth, employment in the leisure and hospitality sector is still 368,000 jobs, or 2.2 percent, below its pre-pandemic level in February 2020.
The Employment Situation – March 2023
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 236,000 in March, while the unemployment rate remained steady at 3.5 percent. Notable employment gains were observed in leisure and hospitality, government, professional and business services, and health care sectors.
The release of this report includes data from two monthly surveys, the household survey which captures labor force status including unemployment by demographic characteristics, and the establishment survey which measures nonfarm employment, hours, and earnings by industry.
Household Survey Data
Both the unemployment rate, at 3.5 percent, and the number of unemployed persons, at 5.8 million, changed little in March. These measures have shown little net movement since early 2022.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for Hispanics decreased to 4.6 percent in March, essentially offsetting an increase in the prior month. The unemployment rates for adult men (3.4 percent), adult women (3.1 percent), teenagers (9.8 percent), Whites (3.2 percent), Blacks (5.0 percent), and Asians (2.8 percent)
showed little or no change over the month.
Among the unemployed, the number of permanent job losers increased by 172,000 to 1.6 million in March, and the number of re-entrants to the labor force declined by 182,000 to 1.7 million.
In March, the number of individuals who were unemployed for 27 weeks or more, known as long-term unemployed, remained relatively unchanged at 1.1 million. This group comprised 18.9 percent of all unemployed individuals.
While the labor force participation rate increased to 62.6 percent in March, and the employment-population ratio rose slightly to 60.4 percent, both measures still remain below their pre-pandemic levels of 63.3 percent and 61.1 percent, respectively.
In March, 4.1 million individuals were employed part-time for economic reasons, which was essentially unchanged. These individuals would have preferred full-time employment, but either their hours were reduced or they couldn’t find full-time work.
In March, the number of individuals who were not in the labor force but desired a job was virtually unchanged at 4.9 million and has returned to its February 2020 level. These individuals were not classified as unemployed since they weren’t actively seeking work during the four weeks before the survey or were unable to take a job.
In March, there were 1.3 million persons who were marginally attached to the labor force among those who desired a job but were not in the labor force. These individuals were willing and available to work, and had searched for a job at some point in the preceding 12 months, but hadn’t actively looked for work during the four weeks before the survey. The number of discouraged workers, who were a subgroup of the marginally attached and believed that no jobs were available to them, was also mostly unchanged over the month, at 351,000.