US employers hired more workers than previously expected in March, thanks to an accelerated vaccination campaign and increased government aid to companies affected by the pandemic. This has strengthened expectations of the coming economic boom.
The Labor Department said Friday that 916,000 new jobs were created outside the agricultural sector in March. This is the largest increase since August last year. February data was revised upward, revealing that 468,000 jobs were created in the US in February, not 379,000 as previously reported.
President Joe Biden hailed data on job growth in March, indicating that the United States can hope for an early recovery from the pandemic.
“Finally, there is hope … The credit for this progress does not belong to me, but to the American people — the hardworking women and men who have overcome it,” the president said in a televised address to the nation.
“In the wake of this great news, I must also warn the American people unequivocally and directly that the progress we have made so hard can be reversed,” the president said, drawing attention to the recent surge in coronavirus infections in several states.
President Biden has asked Americans to be vigilant despite the optimism over the country’s vigorous vaccination campaign.
“I implore you … We need to get this work done,” Biden said. “We need every American to make a commitment and remain vigilant.”
Economists surveyed by Reuters predicted 647,000 new jobs would appear in March. The unemployment rate fell to 6.0% last month from 6.2% in February. It should be borne in mind that real unemployment may be higher, since some Americans mistakenly classify themselves as “employed but absent from work”.
Exactly a year ago, the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic led to the loss of almost 1.7 million jobs in March 2020, and in April the market lost another 20.7 million jobs. Economists estimate that it could take at least two years to recover more than 22 million jobs lost during the pandemic.
As of Tuesday morning, 147.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered and 189.5 million doses have been distributed in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Economists expect job growth in the second and third quarters to average at least 700,000 a month. Combined with fiscal stimulus and an estimated $ 19 trillion in excess savings accumulated by households during the pandemic, it is expected to trigger a massive wave of pent-up demand.
The estimate of the growth of the gross domestic product for the first quarter is 10.0% on an annualized basis. The growth rate of the economy in the fourth quarter was 4.3%. Growth this year could exceed 7%, the fastest pace since 1984. The economy contracted 3.5% in 2020, the worst in 74 years.