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U.S. economy adds 916,000 jobs in March, one year after the pandemic took hold

The March jobs report is in, and builds off February’s growth.

The U.S. economy added 916,000 jobs in March, The Labor Department announced Friday, blowing past the 675,000 jobs economists had predicted, CNBC reports. The unemployment rate fell from 6.2 percent to 6 percent.

The trend continues from last month’s report, in which 379,000 jobs were added, also exceeding expectations.

“Job growth was widespread in March, led by gains in leisure and hospitality, public and private education, and construction,” the Labor Department said.

The news comes as vaccination availability increases, temperatures rise, and states continue to reopen. As these trends continue, economists predict even faster hiring, MarketWatch reports.

The report comes one year after the pandemic took hold — the U.S. economy lost 1.7 million jobs in March 2020, The New York Times reports. Despite growth, the U.S. is still 8.4 million jobs below pre-pandemic levels. But the tide is turning, economist Michelle Meyer told the Times. The March report “reaffirms this idea that the economy is accelerating meaningfully in the spring.”

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