Labor Market: What a Difference Three Months Makes

Number of the Day: The most relevant or interesting figure in personal finance

NOTD - 1.62 Million

That’s how many jobs the U.S. economy added in the first three months of the year, more than double the increase in the three preceding months.

In March alone the economy added 916,000 jobs, plus January and February gains were larger than previously reported, contributing a total of 701,000 jobs to payrolls, the government said in its employment report Friday. In contrast, when a surge in COVID-19 cases sent parts of the country back into lockdown last year, there was a net gain of just 638,000 jobs in the final three months.

The acceleration so far in 2021—thanks in part to government aid provided by the American Rescue Plan—has economists confident we’re on our way to recovery. While the country still has 8.4 million fewer jobs now than it did before the pandemic began, some economists are predicting most or all of those could be recovered by year-end, with gains of more than 1 million jobs in each of the next two months.