Healthcare has added more than half a million jobs over the past 12 months.

Here’s our quick take on this morning’s jobs report…

For all the talk of the potential of an economic slowdown, the economy continues to add jobs at a consistently strong pace, adding 215,000 jobs in March. It’s the 73rd consecutive month of positive job growth, more than the previous longest streak of 51 months between 1996-2000.

Digging into the sector-specific data, healthcare jobs continue their strong month-to-month growth, adding 37,000 jobs in March, bringing the trailing twelve-month growth to just over 500,000 jobs.

Manufacturing shed nearly 30,000 jobs this month, with durable goods industries (-24,000) and machinery (-7,000) contributing the most to the losses.

March 2016 - industry employment changes

Economic analysts have noted the impact of the strong dollar on manufacturing, which shed 29,000 jobs last month and 18,000 in February. “When the dollar strengthens relative to the currencies of our trading partners, it makes our exports more expensive to them and their exports to us cheaper, thus exacerbating our trade deficit and hurting export-oriented sectors, like manufacturing,” says Jared Bernstein of the Washington Post. We’ll continue to keep our eyes on these long-term trends in manufacturing.

The civilian labor force increased by nearly 400,000 in March, with a labor force participation rate that moved up 0.1% to 63 percent. Additionally, the percentage of unemployed people who have been looking for a job for more than 27 weeks (long-term unemployed) continues to show signs of long-term declines.

March 2016 - LTU chart

Overall, this is another strong, if unremarkable, jobs report that shows continue stability in the labor market. South Central regional labor data also shows there is increasing demand for our key growth sectors, such as healthcare and transportation, distribution and logistics. As the economy continues to grow, it places increasing importance on our work to assure that regional businesses have the skilled talent they need to continue to grow.

More to come…