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02 Apr 2021 | 18:41

US non-farm payrolls grow nearly twice as quickly as expected in March

(Sharecast News) - The pace of job growth in the US recovered substantially last month, nearly doubling economists' forecasts, led by hiring in the beaten-down travel sector. According to the Department of Labor, non-farm payrolls surged by 916,000 in March, following an upwardly-revised gain of 468,000 in February.

February's increase had originally been reported at 379,000.

That compared to economists' forecasts for a 600,000 person increase in payrolls, although Barclays Research was nearer the mark with its forecast for 900,000.

The rate of unemployment meanwhile dropped by two tenths of a percentage point to 6.0%, as expected, even as the labour force participation rate ticked up by a tenth of a percentage point to 61.5%.

Employment in Leisure and Hospitality remained by far and away the weakest versus its year-earlier level, having fallen 18.5%.

Other sectors of the economy, such as Government, Education and Manufacturing, had suffered a much smaller decline of around 5.0% on average.

Business services' employment on the other hand had declined by only 3.2%, and that in Construction and Retail of 2.4%,

U-6 unemployment, which also takes into account Americans who had stopped looking for work after becoming discouraged or who were doing part-time work but wanted full shifts, dropped from 11.1% to 10.7%.

In another positive development for the economy, Americans also worked longer work weeks, which reached 34.9 hours, up from 34.6 in February (consensus: 34.7).

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