Major Hiring Surge in March, Job Market Expands More Than Expected

DALLAS, April 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. economy shows signs of employment growth acceleration and optimism for what could be the biggest hiring wave the country has seen.

Jay Denton, chief analyst for ThinkWhy, shared, “March’s strong job growth numbers may speed up the employment recovery timeline. If the vaccine continues to bolster the economic rebound, LaborIQ expects certain industries and locations to fully recover by the end of 2021 or early 2022.”

LaborIQ projects accelerated job growth in second half 2021; New York and Detroit metro areas posted most gains so far.

ThinkWhy, a SaaS company helping businesses navigate the labor market, released its national jobs report and labor forecast for March. The report follows an announcement today from theBureau of Labor Statisticsthat the economy added 916,000 jobs in March, with the unemployment rate at 6.0 percent.

"March's strong job growth numbers may speed up the recovery timeline, especially for metros on the front end of the recovery," said Jay Denton, chief analyst for ThinkWhy. "If the vaccine continues to bolster the economic rebound, LaborIQ expects certain industries and locations to fully recover by the end of 2021 or early 2022."

March's reported job gain of 916,000 was up significantly from February (468,000) and at its highest since August 2020 (1.6 million). Based on forecasts from LaborIQ® by ThinkWhy, the pace of employment growth was previously projected to increase as spring approached, and that's what is occurring. The current hiring wave indicates more businesses are getting back on their feet, just one year after the pandemic began.

The Outlook for Job Recovery

LaborIQ projects a significant acceleration of job growth in the second half of 2021. March's employment gains suggest talent acquisition professionals will have their work cut out for them as business progresses through the remainder of 2021, a year in which upwards of 73 million hires could take place.

Still, even if the labor market sustains March's pace of job gain, it would take approximately 10 more months to recover all the lost jobs at the national level. Although, certain locations, industries and types of jobs will recover sooner. 

"Consumer confidence has reached its highest level since the pandemic began, home-buying purchases remain strong, and more industries across the U.S. have reason for hope," noted Denton. "With an aggressive rollout of the vaccine and warmer weather ahead, improvements in the labor market could remain at a robust pace for an extended period."

While the national unemployment rate declined to 6.0% in March, the rate varies dramatically across occupations. Face-to-face services are returning, albeit with masks and social distancing in place for most establishments. And additional workers returning to the office throughout the year will bring back occupations such as building and grounds maintenance. 

"Service roles are being refilled, and thankfully, unemployment rates are coming down again. This trend should continue, especially in locations where virus counts remain low and vaccine distribution is robust," added Denton. 

Spring will be marked by the rollout of the vaccine to newly eligible segments of the population. Barring a major resurgence in virus counts, continued economic expansion is the base case for the second half of the year. For business planning, knowing which locations and industries will accelerate first will be key, especially for those with flexibility on where, and to whom, they sell. 

Top Metropolitan Areas for Job Market Gains

The level of job recovery varies across the nation. The list below shows which U.S. locations have recovered the most total jobs in the first two months of 2021:

  • New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA (54,700)
  • Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI (41,900)
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI (37,300)
  • Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH NECTA (37,000)
  • Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD (33,600)
  • Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA (27,000)
  • Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO (25,400)
  • Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI (24,000)
  • Pittsburgh, PA (15,300)
  • Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA (14,100)

These cities were also among the hardest hit at the onset of the pandemic-induced economic fallout. In April 2020, New York alone lost nearly 1.9 million jobs. These cities range from 5% to 11% under their pre-pandemic employment levels. While there is still much ground to cover, it is good to see these locations at the top of the list.

Further, each industry will recover based on varying economic influences as well as any unfavorable changes to the decline in virus counts in certain metros. As a result, each city will be impacted differently. Talent acquisition professionals will need to understand the economic drivers that impact the ability to ramp up hiring and business development. 

To read the full report for March 2021, click here.

About LaborIQ by ThinkWhy 

LaborIQ is a breakthrough technology providing HR and talent acquisition professionals with talent and labor market intelligence. Our talent tech precise compensation, retention tools and job market answers for more than 20,000 jobs, across all U.S. cities and industries. LaborIQ's employment reporting and forecasts, talent supply index and compensation toolkit deliver a competitive advantage in recruiting and hiring.

Visit to learn more or request a demo. Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

Ross Coulter | | 214-394-5538
Paige Dawson | | 214-808-7341

LaborIQ by ThinkWhy notes major hiring surge in March, job market expands more than expected


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