One Year After The First Wave Of Pandemic Jobs Losses, U.S. Adds Nearly A Million Jobs In March

26 May 2021


It’s an encouraging sign on the anniversary of what was an especially distressing week for the workforce. Weekly jobless claims surged to a staggering 6.65 million for the week ending March 28, 2020. At the time, it was the highest level ever recorded. That month, the U.S. economy lost a total of 701,000 jobs in the first payroll decline since 2010.

This March, the unemployment rate fell slightly to 6%—down from 6.2% in February. It’s a stark difference from the unemployment rate a year ago at a shocking 14.7% in April 2020, the highest it had been since the Great Depression. February marked the first time since March 2020 that all 50 states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rates under 10%, according to the Labor Department.

“We are in a much better place and headed in a better direction. The economy is clearly strengthening,” says Lawrence J. White, a professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business. “Consumer confidence seems to be improving. The whole nature and feel of the economy is getting better.”

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