U.S. Employment Rises Sharply in March 2021

By Tom Burnett CFA

On April 2, 2021, the Bureau of Labor Statistics issued a very positive report on the U.S. employment situation. The jobs number increased by 916,000 to bring employment up to 150.4 million workers. The unemployment rate declined from 6.2% in the prior month to 6.0%. Revisions to the January and February reports added 156,000 jobs to the previous totals. The 6.0% rate compares to 3.5% in the pre-Covid period in early 2020. The rate peaked at 14.5% in April 2020. The number of unemployed workers seeking employment was 9.7 million, compared to 5.7 million in February 2020.
Essentially, the employment number reached its highest level at 158 million in February 2020, then fell sharply to 133 million as the Covid-19 related lockdowns brought economic growth and production rates to materially lower levels. Job growth has now recovered back to 150.4 million, but is still nearly 8.0 million below the pre-Covid levels.
The next report will be issued on May 7, 2021.
Tom Burnett CFA is Director of Research