April 2 (UPI) — The U.S. economy added close to 920,000 jobs in March, the Labor Department said Friday in its monthly report.
The report showed an addition of 916,000 jobs, beating many analysts’ expectations of about 850,000.
As expected, the figures show a large number of American workers returning to the workforce. Even stronger numbers in April and May are expected.
“Job growth in March was widespread, with the largest gains occurring in leisure and hospitality, public and private education and construction,” the department said.
The unemployment rate dipped to 6% in March, the report noted.
There were 110,000 additional construction jobs last month and the services sector added 66,000. Manufacturing added 53,000 and transportation and warehousing jobs rose by almost 50,000.
“We still have a long way to go to get our economy back on track after the worst economic and job crisis in nearly a century,” President Joe Biden said at the White House Friday.
“But my message to the American people is this: Help is here. Opportunity is coming and at long last there’s hope for so many families.”
About 10 million people were counted as unemployed in February, compared to 5.7 million in February 2020, when the unemployment rate was 3.5%.
“The number of unemployed persons, at 9.7 million, continued to trend down in March but is 4 million higher than in February 2020,” Friday’s report said.
The department also said the share of U.S. workers who work remotely — due largely to COVID-19 — fell last month to 21%, a decline of almost 3%.
“Credit for this progress belongs not to me, but the American people,” Biden added. “When we invest in the American people, it’s not just those at the top who make our economy grow.”
“We are starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel and one of the main reasons why is progress on vaccinations,” Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., chairman of Congress’ Joint Economic Committee, said in a statement. “As more Americans get vaccinated, more businesses are operating at full capacity, and more people are going back to work.”
On Wednesday, ADP and Moody’s Analytics reported an addition of 517,000 jobs in March. The private-sector assessment showed the largest gains in midsize businesses (188,000), with small companies adding 174,000 and large ones 155,000.
The Labor Department said Thursday almost 720,000 U.S. workers filed new unemployment claims last week.