Industries hard hit by the pandemic continued to recover.

The jobs report released on Friday – which showed US employers added a seasonally adjusted 431k jobs in March – received applause from many economists and jobs analysts, cooling fears of a sharp slowdown in growth. And it has raised hopes in the service sector that the good times are returning and more lasting.

After nearly two years of stop-and-go reopenings — optimistic bursts of in-person activity as the virus subsided, followed by scary pullbacks as it resurfaced — experts say the broadest crowd of consumers may be returning to these types of in-person reopenings Activity that shaped their lives a long time ago: The sectors covering travel, live entertainment, indoor dining, museums and historic sites, bars and other drinking establishments all saw a big uptick.

While the headlines were largely unsurprising, there’s a lot of good news for job seekers “if you dig a little deeper and look at the sector level,” said Michelle Meyer, US chief economist at the Mastercard Economics Institute. “A quarter of the jobs created were in leisure and hospitality.” The sector added 112,000 jobs in March.

“There’s still a lot to do,” she said. Leisure and hospitality employment is still 1.5 million below pre-pandemic levels. But the robust growth “speaks to the fact that there is still a lot of room for expansion in this industry in terms of job market growth given what we see in consumers’ interest to step back and engage.”

Parts of the job market that were already strong generally grew stronger: Professional and business services added 102,000 new jobs in March and retail employment added 49,000 workers to the workforce. Industries hard hit by the pandemic continued to recover.

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