The Kansas City Fed Labor Market Conditions Indicators (LMCI) suggest the level of activity increased modestly in March while momentum accelerated sharply. The level of activity indicator increased by 0.06 in March from −0.25 to −0.19. Meanwhile, the momentum indicator increased by 0.88 from 0.49 to 1.37. This is the fourth largest one-month increase in the history of the momentum series. The three largest increases occurred in May, June, and July of 2020.
These readings likely do not fully describe the state of the labor market at the end of March, as many of the input data series reflect conditions early in the month. In particular, the series do not include the effects of the continued acceleration in vaccine administration that occurred later in the month. For example, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Household Survey are from the reference period of March 7 through March 13. Additionally, the most recent data from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) are for February. Therefore, labor market developments in the latter half of March, including the labor market response to recent COVID-19 developments, will likely show up in the April 2021 LMCI readings.