Unemployment in the US dropped to 3.8% while the economy added 678,000 in February —the largest number since summer 2021. The recovery of the travel and restaurant industries was one key driver as Omicron cases saw a significant decline.
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As reported by USA Today, employers in the US added 678,000 jobs in February as revealed by the jobs report, giving new hope in the fight against soaring inflation. The number beats a Bloomberg poll in which economists predicted 400,000.
The number means that the unemployment rate dropped from 4% in January to 3.8% the following month.
To date, the US has recouped 90% —19.9 million— of the 22 million jobs lost when the pandemic erupted, and experts say that the other 2.1 million could be recovered by mid-year.
Joe Biden was particularly confident upon the release of the report and asserted that declining unemployment is the result of the success of his administration’s policies.
“This progress is the result of the new economic approach I talked about in the State of the Union — grow the economy from the bottom up and middle out.”
Another telling statistic is that the labor participation rate increased from 62.2% to 62.3%, the highest since March 2020. This was due to the number of people working or job-hunting being stretched by 304,000.
Labor Secretary Marty Walsh said in an interview, “There’s no question people are coming back to work. Covid and the omicron variant are going down, vaccinations are going up… People are getting a lot more comfortable. ”
“All signs are that the pandemic is easing its hold on the jobs economy,” said Jane Oates, president of NGO WorkingNation.
For the month, leisure and hospitality depicted the biggest broad-based job increases by adding 179, given the recovery in these sectors. Professional and business services contributed 95,000; health care, 64,000; construction, 60,000; transportation and warehousing, 48,000; retail, 37,000; and manufacturing, 36,000, as reported by USA Today.