US economy adds whopping 916K jobs in March

Jobs are on the come up.

The US economy’s recovery efforts from the coronavirus pandemic took a big turn for better after strong numbers in March are a sign of hope. Employers added 916,000 jobs — the biggest gain since August — blowing past expectations by economists due to ramped up vaccination effort, the Labor Department said Friday.

The 916,000 jobs added was a significant uptick from February, which saw businesses add 468,000 jobs in the month. Economists were expecting better numbers in March than the month prior, but precautions were well off with experts expecting 647,000 jobs to be added.

March’s job growth was highest since August 2020. In that month, 1.58 million jobs were added, according to the report.

The addition of new jobs stem from rebounding sectors that were impacted during the pandemic, like restaurants and bars, which created 176,000 jobs in March.

Additionally, the reopening of schools created opportunities, with 126,000 jobs added, while hotel and hospitality showed signs of rebounding by adding 40,000 jobs. With sports stadiums and venues allowing people to come back into games or concerts, the arts sector added 64,000 jobs, the report said.

Construction — another industry dampened by the pandemic — added 110,000 new jobs, its strongest month since June 2020.

Professional and business services also added 66,000 jobs.

“If one is going to have a surprise with employment statistics, a huge upside surprise with the number of jobs added or recovered on the month is the best option,” said Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst. That’s what we have seen. It might be too easy to overlook the upward revisions for payroll gains in January and February, adding to the overall positive tone of the report. In the coming months, we can expect more jobs added and the headline unemployment rate should sink into the 5 percent range.”

Hamrick said recovery in leisure and hospitality was encouraging to see, as was growth in bars and restaurants. However, there’s still ground to be covered since the shutdown of bars and restaurants means that this sector needs to make up more than three million positions to reach its pre-pandemic numbers.

“It is remarkable to think how a year ago we were almost drowning in downbeat and discouraging news about the trajectories of the economy and pandemic. Now, as confirmed by the latest employment report we are uplifted by improving trends being seen broadly and the prospect of better news ahead,” Hamrick said.

He added: “As the sudden and dramatic downturn of the economy presented severe challenges, there will be bumps in the road as the reopening gains further traction as with the supply bottlenecks already being seen along with price increases.”