- Job growth in March highest since August 2020.
- Unemployment rate dropped 0.2 percent from February.
- Employment still down by 8.4 million from the pre-pandemic high in February 2020.
The U.S. economy added 916,000 non-farm jobs during March, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is the highest growth since August 2020.
The monthly growth in non-farm payroll employment reflects the continued recovery in economic activities, which were crippled in early 2020 following the coronavirus outbreak.
The increased availability of COVID-19 vaccines and the US$1.9 trillion COVID relief package are expected to power the country’s economic recovery. Recently, President Joe Biden unveiled his US$2 trillion infrastructure spending plan to give a further push to the economy.
Reiterating similar views, U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh said that the ongoing vaccination campaign and “extensive economic relief” is having a positive effect on the economy.
All the sectors added jobs during the month. The leisure and hospitality sector added 280,000 jobs while construction sector and manufacturing gained 110,000 jobs and 53,000 jobs, respectively. The public and private education sector added 190,000 jobs in March.
However, private non-farm payrolls’ average hourly earnings dropped 4 cents to US$29.96 in March.
The unemployment rate in March declined to 6 percent from 6.2 percent in February. The number of unemployed persons totaled 9.7 million during the month.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that the unemployment rate is considerably low from the April 2020 high.
Yet, the jobless rate is 2.5 percentage points higher than the rate in February 2020.
Image Source: Refinitiv, US Unemployment Rate in 2 years.
The individuals on temporary layoff declined by 203,000 to 2 million in March. However, it figures are higher than the 1.3 million recorded in February 2020. Meanwhile, the number of persons who lost their jobs permanently remained flat at 3.4 million. The permanent job loss totaled 2.1 million in February 2020.
The total nonfarm payroll employment in the U.S. during March is down by 8.4 million, or 5.5 percent, from its pre-pandemic high in February 2020.
The U.S. economy lost 20.6 million jobs in April 2020 amid the economic impact caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Since then, the labor statistics reported job additions every month except in December.