In a boon for President Joe Biden, the United States added 678,000 jobs in February and the unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate has nearly returned to the level it was before the coronavirus outbreak in February 2020, when it was 3.5%. Additionally, the bureau increased December nonfarm payrolls up from 510,000 to 588,000, while January statistics were revised up from 467,000 to 481,000.
However, the recovery was not uniform. While the unemployment rate for adult men and Hispanics decreased in February, the rate for adult women, teenagers, Black people, white people in general, and Asian-Americans remained almost unchanged.
Additionally, average hourly earnings increased by 5.1% from February 2021 to March 2022, as many firms increased compensation to entice people back into the labor force. Simultaneously, labor force participation, defined as the actual number of individuals employed or seeking work, remained stable at 62.3%.
The figures are encouraging for the Biden administration, which is attempting to accelerate the reopening of the US economy and the transition to the next phase of the coronavirus pandemic. Mr. Biden emphasized economic growth at Tuesday’s State of the Union Address.
“In fact—our economy created over 6.5 million new jobs last year, more than any year in American history,” he said, adding that the economy’s robust growth was “the first step toward fundamental reform in an economy that hasn’t worked for the working people of this country for far too long.”
Although the leisure and hospitality sectors generated 179,000 jobs, including 124,000 in food service and drinking establishments, employment in the industry is 9% higher than in February 2020. In February, health care employment increased by 64,000 jobs, including 20,000 positions in home health, 15,000 jobs in physician offices, and 12,000 jobs in other health practitioners’ offices. 60,000 jobs were added in construction, while 48,000 positions were added in transportation and warehousing.
However, it comes at a time when many Americans are concerned about growing inflation, particularly when they go to the grocery store or fill up at the gas pump. The Biden administration ruled out a restriction on Russian oil imports amid the Ukraine conflict, claiming that such a move would result in higher oil prices.
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