Healthcare industry hiring in March saw the smallest increase in a year, as providers continue to experience staffing shortages and COVID-19 cases are on a slow decline.
Healthcare companies added an estimated 8,300 jobs in March, down from 66,400 in February, according to preliminary data the Bureau of Labor Statistics released Friday. The industry contributed to a total of 431,000 new jobs across the economy.
Last month was the smallest uptick in helathcare hiring since March 2021, when the industry gained 6,000 jobs.
The U.S. unemployment rate was 3.6% in March, down 0.2% from February, with 6 million people unemployed. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the unemployment rate was 3.5%. Around 2.5 million people reported being unable to work due to closures or lost business linked to the pandemic last month, down from 4.2 million people in February.