US jobs surge beats forecasts in signs of labour market recovery


US jobs grew more than expected last month amid falling COVID-19 cases, rising vaccination rates and extra government support putting the labour market recovery back on firmer footing.

Nonfarm payrolls surged by 379,000 jobs in March after rising 166,000 in January, according to a closely watched employment report.

It followed the first fall in eight months in December.

Live COVID updates from the UK and across the world

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Feb: ‘This nation will know sunny days again’

Economists had forecast February payrolls increasing by 182,000 jobs.

The Labor Department figures came after Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell gave an upbeat view of the jobs market, but warned a return to full employment this year was “highly unlikely”.

While the unemployment rate fell to 6.2% last month from 6.3% in January, it continued to be understated with people misclassifying themselves as being “employed but absent from work”.

More from Covid-19

The labour market has been slow to respond to the drop in daily coronavirus cases and hospitalisations, which helped fuel a boost in consumer spending in January and prompted economists to upgrade their gross domestic product (GDP) growth estimates for the first quarter.

Although millions are unemployed, companies are struggling to find workers, which is helping to hamper jobs growth.

The pandemic is keeping some workers at home, reluctant to accept or return to jobs that could expose them to COVID-19.

It has also disproportionately affected women who have been forced to drop out of work to look after children as many schools remain closed for face-to-face learning.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Jolene gets COVID remix – and Dolly gets jab

According to official data, around 10 million mothers living with their own school-age children were not actively working in January, 1.4 million more than during the same month in 2020.

The job vacancies are mainly in the high-growth industries that have fared well throughout the pandemic, such as information technology, engineering, construction, customer support, manufacturing, and accounting and finance.

Economists believe the labour market will build momentum in the spring and through the summer, with vaccinations increasing daily, even though the rate of decline in COVID-19 infections has flattened recently.

A boost to hiring is also expected from US President Joe Biden’s $1.9trn (£1.4trn) recovery plan, which is under consideration by Congress.

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

Italy’s Democratic Party concedes defeat after exit poll puts far-right politician Giorgia Meloni on course to win
You can now buy an amphibious electric vehicle for $50,000
Briton held in Ukraine used as ‘punching bag’ over days of torture
Leaks to Nord Stream pipelines were ‘likely premeditated attack using remote explosives’
Truss is a ‘danger’ to the economy and has ‘lost control’, says Starmer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.