The United States added 431,000 jobs as the coronavirus pandemic subsided and employers went on a hiring spree in March.
The gain was lower than expected, but it was also the 11th month in a row with gains above 400,000, the longest such streak on record.
The unemployment rate dropped from 3.8 percent to 3.6 percent, the lowest level since the pandemic hit the United States.
The most job growth was in leisure and hospitality, which added 112,000 new positions in March. However, other industries, such as professional and business services, which added 102,000 jobs, grew rapidly.
The number of job openings in the United States is at an all-time high, and the number of people quitting their jobs to look for new opportunities is also at an all-time high.
There were 11.3m job openings in the US in February and the worker shortage is pushing up wages.
Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 5.6%. While the rise represents strong growth, it is still below the rate of inflation, which climbed to an annual rate of 7.9% in February, a 40-year-high.
Michael Pearce, senior US economist at Capital Economics said: “There were no signs that the war in Ukraine or the surge in oil prices had put a temporary hold on hiring in many parts of the economy. For all the talk about a permanent drop in the labor force, it is now just 174,000 below its pre-pandemic level, with household employment only 408,000 short of its February 2020 level.”
Source: The Guardian