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Msg  321388 of 329728  at  4/2/2021 10:46:41 AM  by


The following message was updated on 4/2/2021 10:46:58 AM.

More detail on the big March jobs report


The # blew past the March forecast and also there were large upwards revisions in Jan and Feb to boot. Add to yesterday's ISM and we have lift off.

Biggest gains were in leisure & hospitality but that still has a looong way to go. (see below)

Job growth boomed in March at the fastest pace since last summer as stronger economic growth and an aggressive vaccination effort contributed to a surge in hospitality and construction jobs, the Labor Department reported Friday.

Nonfarm payrolls increased by 916,000 for the month while the unemployment rate fell to 6%.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been looking for an increase of 675,000 and an unemployment rate of 6%. The total was the highest since the 1.58 million added in August 2020.

“We were expecting a big number and today’s jobs report delivered in a major way. It is the flip side of what we saw for March of last year and another clear sign that the U.S. economy is on a strong path to recovery,” said Eric Merlis, head of global markets trading at Citizens.

Stock market futures showed muted reaction to the numbers, though government bond yields rose. Wall Street is not open for trading Friday, and the bond market is on a shortened day due to the Good Friday observance.

A more encompassing measure of unemployment that includes discouraged workers and those holding part-time jobs for economic reasons dropped to 10.7% from 11.1% in February.

The labor force continued to grow after losing more than 6 million Americans at one point last year. Another 347,000 workers came back, bringing the labor force participation rate to 61.5%, compared to 63.3% in February 2020.

There are still nearly 5 million fewer Americans employed than a year ago, while the labor force is down 2.2 million.

Leisure and hospitality, a sector critical to restoring the jobs market to its former strength, showed the strongest gains for the month with 280,000 new jobs. Bars and restaurants added 176,000 while arts, entertainment and recreation contributed 64,000 to the total.

Even with the continued gains, the sector remains 3.1 million below its pre-pandemic total in February 2020.

With students heading back into schools, education hiring boomed during the month as well. Local, state and private education institutions combined to hire 190,000 more employees for the month.

Construction also saw a healthy gain of 110,000 new jobs, while professional and business services added 66,000 and manufacturing increased by 53,000. For construction, it was the strongest month of hiring since June 2020.

In addition to the powerful gains for March, previous months also were revised considerably higher. The January total increased 67,000 to 233,000, while February’s revisions brought the total up by 89,000 to 468,000.

A slew of other industries also added jobs: Transportation and warehousing (48,000), other services (42,000), social assistance (25,000), wholesale trade (24,000), retail (23,000), mining (21,000), and financial activities (16,000) contributed to the strong month.

Within the other services category, personal and laundry services, which serves as a proxy for general business activity, saw an increase of 19,000.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics noted ongoing classification errors that affect the count, and said the unemployment rate could have been as much as 0.4 percentage points higher.

Business activity has returned to close to normal levels in much of the company despite the restrictions, with a tracker by Jeffries indicating that activity is at 93.5% of its pre-pandemic level.

Data from Homebase shows that employees working and hours worked both gained sharply over the past month, with significant improvements in both hospitality and entertainment. Those have been the hardest-hit sectors, but have improved over the past two months as governments have loosened up on some of the harshest restrictions on activity.

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