The U.S. economy gained 916,000 jobs in March. The numbers beat economist expectations and show the fastest job growth since the summer of 2020. However, economists caution that there are still challenges ahead. The unemployment rate fell to 6.0%. Year-over-year wage growth was at 4.2%.
916,000: The U.S. economy added 916,000 jobs in March.
6%: The unemployment rate fell to 6%.
4.2%: Wages grew 4.2% over the past year.
The New York Times reports that March’s jobs report is the most optimistic report since the pandemic began. The 916,000 jobs added to the economy beat the expectations of most economists, though as we noted in our February analysis, some economists thought job growth could be as high as one million. Many of the jobs added came in leisure and hospitality, the sector hit hardest by pandemic job losses.
Economists say they expect growth to continue because of the expanded availability of vaccines, with more than 2 million Americans receiving shots each day. The reopening of schools has also allowed more women to reenter the workforce.
Despite the good news in March’s report, as the Wall Street Journal reports, there are still 8.4 million fewer jobs than before the pandemic began, and even if growth continues at this rate, it will take the larger part of the year to make up that ground.
MarketWatch reports that economists have a lot of optimism for the coming months, but there are a few factors that could impact the economic recovery. The first is the speed of vaccinations. As more Americans are vaccinated, the economy can recover more quickly. On the other side, many stats are seeing rising numbers of coronavirus cases, which has slowed reopening plans in some areas. If those numbers do not decrease, it could dampen the recovery.