Job growth south of the border boomed in March at the fastest pace since last summer, as stronger economic growth and an aggressive vaccination effort contributed to a surge in hospitality and construction jobs.
Stock markets were shuttered Friday for the Good Friday holiday, and the bond market operated on a shortened day, but the U.S. Labor Department came out that day with its report that non-farm payrolls increased by 916,000 for the month while the unemployment rate fell to 6%.
Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been looking for an increase of 675,000 and an unemployment rate of 6%. The total was the highest since the 1.58 million added in August 2020.
Employment gains were broad-based, but were especially strong in areas hit worst by the pandemic. A more encompassing measure of unemployment that includes discouraged workers and those holding part-time jobs for economic reasons dropped to 10.7% from 11.1% in February.
Thelabour force continued to grow after losing more than six million Americans at one point last year. Another 347,000 workers came back, bringing the labour force participation rate to 61.5%, compared to 63.3% in February 2020.
There are still nearly 7.9 million fewer Americans counted as employed than in February 2020, while the labour force is down 3.9 million.