(CNN) –– The U.S. economy added 431,000 jobs in March, bringing the unemployment rate to a new epidemic low of 3.6%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) said Friday.
Number of jobs Less than economists expected. But, nonetheless, they are consolidating for the US labor market in a solid first quarter.
There are now only 1.6 million fewer jobs in the economy now than there were in February 2020, before the epidemic.
In fact, the BLS said on Friday that many labor market indicators are already close to pre-Kovit-19 levels. The total number of unemployed fell to 6 million in March, while the number of those who lost their jobs permanently fell to 1.4 million.
As the situation improves and employees return to their offices, the number of people working long distances due to the epidemic has dropped to 10% in March from 13% in February.
The long road to recovery
The U.S. job market has come a long way since the worst days of the epidemic in which more than 20 million Americans lost their jobs. For the March jobs report on Friday, economists surveyed by Refinitiv expected an additional 490,000 jobs. The United States would have recovered more than 90% of all jobs lost during the epidemics.
More than half a million job increases on average in the last 12 months. Really shocking speed compared to pre-infection numbers. For example, in 2019, the monthly average was just 164,000.
What does this rise in American jobs reveal?
On the one hand, it shows how well the U.S. jobs recovery is going. For another, it reminds us that the recession will eventually come when the economy returns to normal.
“I expect the pace of hiring to slow down, but I think it’s important to say this because of supply restrictions,” said Simona Moguda, chief economist at State Street Global Advisors.
Weekly unemployment demands have also returned to normal. Last week, 202,000 workers applied for unemployment benefits for the first time, adapting to seasonal changes. This was slightly higher than economists expected. But, in accordance with the pre-infectious conditions.
Meanwhile, the number of Americans applying for such benefits for at least two weeks fell to 1.3 million in the week ending March 19, and adjusted seasonally. This is the lowest level since December 1969.
However, the labor shortage, which accounts for the bulk of the recovery, has not been resolved. Between high demand from companies and fewer individuals in the workforce, competition for talent is fierce.
In February, there were 11.3 million jobs in the United States, but only 6.7 million people were employed. Economists believe it will take some time to bridge this mismatch between labor supply and demand. Meanwhile, wages are rising as companies compete to attract and hire employees.
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