New Job Gains for March 2022 Shows Businesses Open with Jobs to Offer: CEI Analysis

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The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics announced today that the U.S. economy added over 400,000 jobs in the month of March – good news for policy makers to build upon with spending and regulatory restraint.

Statement by Sean Higgins, CEI research associate:

“After more than two years, the economy has nearly crawled back to where it was before the Corona virus outbreak thanks primarily to the rolling back of the pandemic’s restrictions. March’s gain of 431,000 jobs, which brought the unemployment rate down to 3.6 percent according to the Labor Department, was impressive. But the more noteworthy news was the number of people said who said they were unable to work because their employer closed or lost business due to the pandemic was now 2.5 million, down by 1.7 million from the prior month. That more than accounts for March’s gains and reaffirms that the best thing the government at all levels can do to aid the recovery is to simply get out of the way and let the economy repair itself.”

Statement by Ryan Young, CEI senior fellow:

“The latest numbers provide further evidence of the COVID economic recovery. The most encouraging news is just under the surface, in the labor force participation rate. Today’s low 3.6 percent unemployment rate doesn’t tell the whole story, because it only counts workers who are actively seeking jobs. During the worst of COVID, many displaced workers didn’t even bother looking for work, due to safety and regulatory concerns.

“Before COVID hit, labor force participation was 63.4 percent. It quickly bottomed out at 60.2 percent when people first hunkered down — the lowest level since 1973, when there were far fewer women in the workforce. It is now at 62.4 percent, closer to pre-COVID levels than to that big COVID drop. There is still a ways to go, but barring another variant, the recovery will continue. It would go even faster if politicians used up fewer resources in their big spending bills and removed never-needed regulations that block opportunities for millions of people.”