More evidence of the labor market recovery could be in place Thursday morning when the Department of Labor reports the latest data on new unemployment benefits claims.
The increasing pace of vaccination – coupled with the easing of restrictions on business and consumer activity in many states and the arrival of stimulus funds – has helped raise attitudes in recent weeks.
On Friday, the government reported that employers created 916,000 jobs in March, double the number in February and the most since August. The unemployment rate fell to 6 percent, the lowest level since the pandemic began. Almost 350,000 people are back in work.
Most experts expect a sustained economic recovery, supported by the Biden government’s adoption of the $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus aid package in March. Most people have received $ 1,400 in payments, and the funding from the legislation should give firepower to an economy that is expected to grow more than 6 percent this year.
“As more service sectors go online, I think the number of claims will decrease significantly,” said Rubeela Farooqi, US chief economist at High Frequency Economics.
Still, there is still a lot to do.
Even after employment growth in March, the economy is 8.4 million fewer jobs than in February 2020. Entire sectors such as travel and leisure as well as restaurants and bars are only gradually recovering from the millions of job losses that resulted from the arrival of the pandemic.