US jobs creation surges in March as recovery gains steam


The US economy saw a surge in hiring in March as vaccination spreads, officials loosened restrictions and people pushed to return to their pre-pandemic activities. Employers added more than 900,000 jobs driven by re-openings at restaurants, bars, construction sites and schools. The gains were the biggest since August and helped lower the unemployment rate to 6% from 6.2% in February. However, overall employment remains far lower than before the pandemic.

The US lost more than 20 million jobs last spring as the virus led to widespread lockdowns. It has regained more than half, but the number of jobs is still more than 8 million down from February 2020. The US has approved trillions in recovery aid, including a $1.9tn (£1.4tn) package last month, to shield households and businesses from the disruption. Analysts are expecting a strong rebound later this year, as families emerge from lockdowns with pent-up demand and in many cases, savings put away during the pandemic. Estimates suggest the growth rate in 2021 could hit 6% or higher and US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said she is hopeful that near full employment could return next year.(BBC)…[+]