Axios AM Thought Bubble
April 02, 2021
☕ Good morning. Axios' Courtenay Brown and Felix Salmon here to unpack the March jobs report.
- Smart Brevity™ count: 280 words ... 1½ minutes.
1 big thing: Labor market roars back
Wow: The U.S. economy added 916,000 jobs in this morning's March jobs report — huge momentum for the pandemic-slammed labor market.
Why it matters: It's the biggest hiring spree since last summer. Thank vaccinations and the broader economic reopening.
Plus: Job gains in both January and February were even higher (+156,000) than previously reported.
Details: The leisure and hospitality sector (think restaurants, bars, etc.) was the standout with 280,000 new jobs added. But there were broad gains across other industries — construction, manufacturing — too.
- The unemployment rate for workers without a high school degree dropped from 10.1% to 8.2% — a sharp decline.
- It also dropped for all racial and ethnic groups, except Asian Americans. Their unemployment rate jumped by nearly a full percentage point.
What to watch: Whether the millions of workers out of the labor force come off the sidelines.
- Roughly 347,000 came back last month — but there are still 3.8 million fewer people in the labor force compared to the beginning of last year.
The bottom line: These numbers show there's still more than enough slack in the labor market to support extremely strong jobs growth through the rest of 2021 and beyond.
- Employment gains slowed down at the end of 2020, but with $1.9 trillion of new stimulus on the way, there’s no reason they can’t pick back up again with gusto.
- The road ahead: Eight or so more months like March would suffice to bring us back to pre-pandemic employment levels.
Thanks for reading, and see you next month!