The American economy added 431,000 jobs in March, and the unemployment rate declined to 3.6% from 3.8% in February.
Here’s an update on the major happenings in the economy and stock market this past week.
With an increase of 431,000 employees in March, the nation now employs nearly as many people full-time as it did before the pandemic struck in February 2020. Employment is down by 1.6 million from its pre-pandemic level in February 2020.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today that the unemployment rate declined to 3.6%. Leisure and hospitality job growth is an interesting aspect of the historic recovery from the pandemic.
Employment in leisure and hospitality continued to increase in March, with a gain of +112,000. Job growth occurred in food services and drinking places (+61,000) and accommodation (+25,000).
Since February 2020, employment in leisure and hospitality is still down by 1.5 million, or 8.7%. This is the part of the economy most severely affected by the pandemic and its full recovery benefits service workers the most.
“Average weekly earnings for non-supervisory employees in leisure and hospitality businesses grew much faster than price increases over the past year,” according to a Labor Department release today.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index closed Friday, April 1, 2022, at 4,545.86. The index gained +0.34% from Thursday and was up +0.06% from last week. The stock index is up +68.06% from the March 23, 2020, bear market low.