Click here to see the archive of these reports

Mobile / Smartphone version of this Report

Sign-up to receive this Employment Report every month in your inbox

U.S. Employment Situation (March 2015)
published by Bruce Steinberg | April 3, 2015

Home of the first and only U.S. employment report podcasts



Now it's your turn ...


Since mid-2006, you have been providing our monthly employment report with an analysis of a specific subject to you free of charge. No, we are not going to start charging for it, but in return for our last eight-plus years of sending this gratis report, we would like you to complete a brief survey (four questions, and that includes an optional open comment box).


The reason for this development is because of a total screw-up by our web hosting company that took a week  to rectify after deleting our website (not to mention, the time and effort for us to deal with the situation). Not knowing anything for a number of days if the problem would even be addressed or fixed, we secured another URL and new web hosting company. We apologize to anyone who were not able to see our latest summation of the Federal Reserve's Beige Book, which presented some anecdotal reasons for the January and February decline for temporary help services.


With that said, we would like your feedback about a possible new URL as well as a new website. Please keep in mind that the new website is not quite finalized (let's just say it's "in beta"), but most of the bits and pieces are there and should be working but it sill needs some refinement. Before you complete the survey please make sure to visit the potential new website design at and you may also want to revisit our current website at


Take the survey here.



Strategic Planning Tools ...

Our Temporary Help Services Interactive Data Book tool will enable to view the local (down to the county level) temporary help services trends as well as benchmark your local staffing operation  to discover exactly where you are positioned in the market and if your offices are performing up to the local market.

Then use our Employment Tracking Tool that is designed to assist you in identifying and evaluating new sectors and markets. It examines the overall employment trends by industry in the given market to help determine possibly under-serviced industries to target marketing efforts (as well as what industries to avoid). By doing this, it shows what industries are growing and therefore are in expansion mode making them eager for a wide variety of products and services and likely in need of additional staff.

See further descriptions of these two strategic planning tools and links to the demos

What will 2022 look like for staffing services?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently published 10-year employment projections. These projections are based upon a plethora of criteria including how changes in population demographics will affect the demand for specific goods and services, the types of jobs, and levels of education for workers to fill those jobs.  Our report highlights some of the changes in the direction that both jobs (occupations) and well as employment changes by industry and sector that may be of special interest to staffing industry executives planning for the near-term future.


You may be surprised to learn that it appears that light industrial will be a growing sector for staffing services encompassing growing portion of staffing services jobs by the year 2022; office and administrative support jobs, although they will remain a significant part of staffing services jobs, will decline slightly as its portion of the overall mix.


Our report on the expected employment projections to the year 2022, which is only eight years away, as they relate to staffing services to assist you in planning for the future. Given the highly analytical nature of our readers and followers, this brief, eight-page report is light on words but heavy on tables and charts. And because we know you are a busy executive, you don't even have to go to the additional step of requesting this gratis and valuable report from us. Just directly download it from here.


Looking for more? Check out our podcasts!

Podcasts of the current employment situation will be available by 4:00 p.m. ET, Thursday, July 3rd. The video podcast, which you can start and stop to study the tables and graphs as well as replay individual sections, includes additional data and information.  Watch the video version here or just listen to the audio version here (no special hardware or software required), which also can be downloaded to an iPod or any smartphone.

The "ultimate consultant's consultant."

"Bruce is an invaluable resource to me in working through the strategic planning process with my clients in the staffing industry. Bruce consults with me on each engagement and customizes his deliverables accordingly, exceeding my expectations each time. He expediently gathers and compiles the data I need and delivers it in user-friendly reports which make the analysis portion of my job easy. Because with Bruce's assistance I can make strategy recommendations with confidence and accuracy, my clients benefit greatly in turn. He is the ultimate "consultant's consultant." -- Amy Bingham, Bingham Consulting Professionals View more Testimonials


March 2015 Employment Report

Quick recap


Yikes! In the words of James Bond, job growth was weak, very weak. It was if the job trend headed over a cliff without a secret parachute packed away under that finely tailored suit.


March job growth was only 126,000 nonfarm jobs, which is in stark contrast to the 264,000 jump in February, the 201,000 increase in January, and even the 225,000 increase of March 2014. We can't help but postulate that Temporary Help Service's declines in January and February may have foreshadowed March's weak overall job growth.


On the other side of the monthly employment situation, the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.5 percent in March despite 130,000 fewer unemployed persons. For more detail about this aspect of the monthly employment situation, see the "Household Survey" section at the bottom of this box.


Jobs Report


Total private-sector jobs grew by 129,000 in March 2015, which less than half of February's 264,000 increase as well as way off from March 2014's gain of 223,000.


The private Goods-producing sector contracted by 13,000 jobs in March after adding 20,000 in February and growing by 51,000 in January. 

  • It should come as no surprise that declines in Mining and logging continued with a drop of 11,000 in March after descending by that same amount in February as well as burying (decreasing) 7,000 jobs in January.

  • Activity was frozen in the Construction sector in March with a decline of 1,000 after adding 29,000 in February, which was not very good when you look at January's gain of 41,000. It was a cold winter indeed.

  • Manufacturers also appeared to have cold feet with a decline of 1,000 in March after adding only 2,000 in February that followed a 17,000 increase in January. Durable goods managed to add 600 jobs in March after adding 1,000 in February; Nondurable goods manufacturers eliminated 1,000 jobs in March after deleting 3,000 in February.

The private Service-providing sector also did its part in contributing to the dismal job report. In March, they only added 142,000 jobs compared to growth of 244,000 in February but not that much worse than the 151,000 increase of January.

  • Hiring in the Retail trade sector tapered off to a 25,900 increase that was discounted from the 32,300 this sector added in February as well as the 35,400 it increased by in January.

  • The pace in the Wholesale trade sector continued to slowed with a gain of only 5,800 jobs in March after increasing by 9,600 in February and growing by 12,300 in January.

  • Hiring activity was fairly steady in the Transportation and warehousing sector with an increase of 9,500 jobs in March after adding a similar 9,700 in February but certainly an improvement from January's decline of 13,100 jobs.

  • Financial activities employers added 8,000 jobs in March that was about the same as February's gain of 7,000, but not a solid as January's increase of 19,000.

  • The Professional and business services sector added 40,000 more jobs in March that was not far off February's increase of 42,000 and clearly an improvement from January's growth of 20,000.  Computer systems design and related services added only 3,900 jobs in March that was much weaker than the 6,800 it added in January.  Management and technical consulting services experienced a similar trend and grew by a similar amount in March with an increase of 3,800 after adding 7,900 jobs in February; Architectural and engineering services added 4,200 jobs in March that was clearly better than the 2,700 it added in February.

  • The Education and health services sector added a total of 38,000 jobs in March with the sector's highly seasonal Educational services sub-sector contributing 7,600 more jobs. Home health care services was up by 6,000 in March, which was better than the 4,600 increase of February.

  • The party started to wind down in the Leisure and hospitality sector with only 13,000 more jobs in March after adding 70,000 in February.

The total number of Government jobs was down by 3,000. The federal government shrank by 2,000, State government followed suit with a 4,000 jobs decline; but Local government added 3,000 jobs.

Temporary Help Services Roundup


Temporary help services rebounded in March but not completely recovering from the declines of January (down 7,800) and February (down 7,500). The revisions to the January and February data were an improvement from the numbers released last month.


In March, 2,859,400 temporary help services jobs were due to a gain of 11,400 jobs, which was 0.4 percent sequential growth and 5.3 percent year-on-year growth.


And temporary help service's market share -- that is its portion of all jobs -- recovered a bit to 2.03 percent in March from February's 2.02 percent and is still higher than one year ago, in March 2014, it was 1.99 percent.


For a chart of temporary help's growth from January 1991 to March 2015 and comparing its trend to total employment, click here.


(if the chart is unclear, click on it  to open in a browser window)


Click on chart to open in a new browser window.

Household Survey


February's 5.5 percent unemployment rate was unchanged despite some interesting movements in its underlying components.


In fact, there were only 34,000 more employed persons in March while there were 130,000 fewer unemployed persons and the number of people no longer in the workforce increased by 277,000. In other words, despite a relatively small number of newly employed persons and a whole lot fewer people unemployed -- and a lot more not considered as in the labor force -- the unemployment rate was unchanged.


The employment-to-population ratio was 59.3 percent in March and up from 59.0 percent a year earlier. The labor force participation rate incrementally declined to 62.7 percent in March from February's 62.8 percent and also lower from a year ago, in March 2014, when it was 63.2. The tnumber of discouraged workers, which recently had been declining in numbers, changed direction with an increase to 738,000 in March 2015 from 698,000 in March 2014.


BTW, we maintain an updated table of many major employment as well as other economic indicators here or here for the mobile version.


Copyright 2015 Bruce Steinberg. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy 

+1 828.278.3672



+1 828.355.4284

(cell & text)

Permission is granted to forward this webpage with no changes and the contact and copyright information intact and unchanged.