Today, we look at the latest on jobs and manufacturing.
U.S. payrolls rose by 916,000 last month, much higher than the 675,000 expected by economists surveyed by Dow Jones. This was the best month of job growth since August, when 1.58 million jobs were added.
While employment is still 5.5% lower than its pre-pandemic peak in February 2020, we have added almost 14 million jobs since May 2020. Amazing.
The unemployment rate fell to 6.0%, just 2.5% higher than its pre-pandemic level in February 2020. The unemployment rate has fallen from 14.8% to 6.0% in less than one year. That’s also amazing.
Leisure and hospitality led the way adding 280,000 workers in March, followed by a 110,000 increase in construction jobs.
This data is great news that should continue for the next several months. Over 153 million vaccine doses have already been given out in the U.S., leading to more business reopenings and hiring. And don’t forget the $1.9 trillion stimulus signed last month, which will put a ton of money in the pockets of consumers who are anxious to spend it.
For one last bit of really good news, see the next item.
The Institute for Supply Management’s index of factory activity surged to 64.7 in March, from 60.8 the prior month. This was way above the 61.3 level economists were looking for, and the highest reading since December 1983. A level above 50 indicates growth, so this shows manufacturing, which accounts for 12% of GDP, is firing on all cylinders right now.