An impressive 916,000 jobs were added to the economy in the month of March, according to a new report from the Labor Department, as the unemployment rate declined to 6.0%. This is the biggest gain since August.
In addition, February’s employment number was revised higher to a 468,000 non-farm payroll gain.
Leisure and hospitality industries fared the best – gaining 280,000 jobs. Construction payrolls gained 110,000 and education employment climbed as schools reopened. Meanwhile, a report Thursday from the National Federation of Independent Business showed a record share of small business owners with unfilled positions in March.
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With a $1.9 trillion stimulus already working its way through the economy and possibly another $4 trillion in the works, the economy could certainly get a boost. The Federal Reserve, meanwhile, has pledged to keep interest rates low through the next several years, despite any potential inflationary pressures. The combination of monetary policy with fiscal policy could go very well…or very bad. I agree with former Clinton Treasury Secretary Larry Summers’ analysis; this is a risky move that could result in massive inflation.
That said, there are some positive signs for jobs and the markets in the months ahead.Most economists anticipate that this job growth will continue as the country emerges from lockdown and people begin to resume normal lives. There are estimates that the economy will add more than 500,000 jobs per month for a total of 6 million jobs in the next 12 months.
Of course, even with that sustained growth in the job markets, the U.S. is not expected to recover all jobs lost during the coronavirus pandemic until at least the second half of 2022.
U.S. stocks are closed Friday for the holiday however, there is some movement in the U.S. Treasury markets. The 10-year yield climbed as high as 1.69% following the report.