A continued torrent of consumer demand, coupled with a decline in coronavirus caseloads and health restrictions, led to a burst of job creation last month.
The Labor Department said employers added 431,000 jobs in March. The unemployment rate was 3.6 percent, down from 3.8 percent a month earlier, but still higher than it was before the Pandemic.
The grip on the American psyche seems to have loosened, according to a professor.
The economy has recovered more than 90 percent of the jobs that were lost in the spring of 2020.
Wage growth is strong, but price increases are casting a shadow. Russia's invasion of Ukraine is pushing up commodity prices, and the Covid-19 outbreak at key trade hubs in Asia are a fresh burden to supply chains.
President Biden talked about the job gains under his administration. We need to do more to control prices.
1.6 million jobs have been created since Feb. 2020.
Since April 2020 there have been +20.4 million.
In March, there were 431,000.
There were 152.5 million jobs in February 2020.
Wages increased by a brisk 5.6 percent over the past year, after annual increases of 2 to 3 percent for much of the 2010s. At a time when the Federal Reserve is trying to cool them down, that could cause price increases to go up.
The labor market is very tight, compared to the strong job market just before the Pandemic, according to a recent speech by the Fed chair. The current job market, in which there are 1.8 openings for every unemployed worker, is an unhealthy level according to Mr. Powell.
Job openings and the number of workers voluntarily leaving their positions are near record levels, and many employers have complained of a shortage of job candidates. Many workers, especially those at or near retirement age, may have been pushed to the sidelines permanently because of the Pandemic.
With more than 400,000 people rejoining the labor force in March, the share of adults who were working or actively looking for work rose to 62.4 percent, just a percentage point below the level on the eve of the Pandemic. The return has been better for people in their prime working years.
According to recent data, many workers who were kept out of the labor force have returned. The Omicron wave of Covid-19 faded in much of the country in March, but it produced job growth in most major industries.
Roughly 25% of the overall gains were accounted for by leisure and hospitality. Good times may be back in the service sector after the data spurred hope.
After nearly two years of stop-and-go reopenings, there appears to be renewed comfort with in-person activity. Travel, live entertainment, indoor dining, museums and historical sites, bars and other drinking places all had job increases.
A total of 102,000.
There was a total of 53,000.
Health care and education.
A figure of over one hundred thousand dollars.
Local and state government.
There is still more work to be done, according to the U.S. chief economist for the Mastercard Economics Institute. The employment in leisure and hospitality is still down from prepandemic levels. She said that the March data speaks to the fact that there is still a lot of room for expansion in terms of labor market growth.
The Lobby, a restaurant in a late 19th-century building in downtown Denver, almost went out of business in 2020 but was saved by emergency federal aid to small companies. On any given weekend, it offers the sights, smells and sounds of an economic revival starting to get fully comfortable: a packed house of diners chatting away, leaning into each others ears in a way unimaginable 18 months ago.
Christian Batizy, the restaurant's co-owner, is bullish about his business and the local economy.
He said that people are a little more willing to spend money out because of the economy.
Consumer prices increased by 7.9 percent in the 12 months through February, the largest increase since 1982. The Republicans are blaming Mr. Biden for rising prices, and it is expected to heat up as the elections near.
Kevin Brady, the top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, said in a statement that wages just can't keep up with inflation.
Frustration with inflation, in spite of plentiful jobs, cuts across income levels and worldviews. Robert Frick, an economist at Navy Federal Credit Union, said that most of the hiring in the coming months will be for lower- wage service workers.
The president of Local 721 of the Service Employees International Union, which represents about 98,000 public-sector workers, said he was feeling the financial burn. Our salaries and benefits are not keeping up with inflation.
Mr. Green, a veteran children's social worker for the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, said he and many of his colleagues were indignant at being frontline workers watching giant corporations succeed more and make millions and billions of dollars.
The county workers have not received a cost-of-living adjustment in three years and have become more assertive in seeking raises. Three years of 2 percent wage increases have been offered by the county. The offer would have been better received if inflation had been less than 2 percent. Workers are threatening to strike.
Ben and Jeanna contributed to the report.