Blogging on Employment and Job Markets in US Metro Areas

March 2018 Nonfarm Payroll Update

As of March nonfarm payroll employment was 147.3 million, an increase of 2.25 million from a year earlier. In percentage terms, this is an increase of 1.6% from a year earlier. March marks the 91st consecutive month of year-on-year employment growth (for comparison, the 1990s expansion saw year-on-year employment growth for 111 consecutive months, and the 2000s expansion only 53 months). As can be seen in the chart below, the rate of employment growth has been declining since a peak in February of 2015 when employment was up 3.11 million (2.3%) from a year earlier:

Nonfarm Payroll March 2018 update
Though the rate of employment growth has been slowing since that 2015 peak, the prime age (25 to 54) labor force participation rate (LFPR) has been increasing since September 2015 (when it hit a low of 80.6%) and at 82.1% as of March (a return to 2010 levels). This is still significantly below the prime age LFPR of the 1990s and 2000s expansions (see the below FRED chart).

Prime Age (25 to 54) labor for participation rate 1990 thru March 2018