The latest jobs report shows hiring remains strong, and suggests we could be back to pre-pandemic level unemployment fairly soon.
The economy added 431,000 jobs in March, pushing the unemployment rate down to 3.6 percent — the lowest since February 2020.
“There's no doubt that this is a this is strong number in absolute terms,” said Mel Casey, senior portfolio manager at FBB Capital Partners.
Some of the biggest gains were made in leisure and hospitality, retail, and manufacturing.
The numbers signal a robust labor market recovery, but they come amid stubbornly high inflation.
“We're seeing good wage growth at 5.6% year over year, but inflation is almost 8% year over year,” Casey said.
The Fed will continue raising interest rates to tame inflation, and the latest jobs numbers underscore the urgency at which officials could
move. Just last month, Fed Chair Jerome Powell called the job market “overheated.”
If anything, this report essentially guarantees those rate hikes, the next of which is expected to happen in May.