US unemployment rate drops to 3.6. per cent as labour stats approach pre-pandemic levels

‘People are making more money, they're finding better jobs’

Andrew Feinberg
Washington, DC
Friday 01 April 2022 18:06 BST
President Joe Biden speaks about the March jobs report in the State Dining Room of the White House, Friday, April 1, 2022
President Joe Biden speaks about the March jobs report in the State Dining Room of the White House, Friday, April 1, 2022 (AP)
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The USunemployment rate dropped two tenths of a percentage point over the last month to 3.6 per cent, the lowest since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, “total non-farm payroll” rose by 431,000 from 1 March to 31 March, with “notable” gains across “leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, retail trade, and manufacturing”.

The total number of unemployed persons in the US fell by 318,000 to a level of 6 million.

BLS said the March 2022 numbers are “little different” from those recorded in February 2020, the month before the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic sent the US and world economies reeling.

Speaking from the White House shortly after the report was made public, President Joe Biden said the drop in the unemployment rate since he took office in January 2021 has been “the fastest decline in unemployment to start a president's term ever recorded”.

“Americans are back to work. And that's good news for millions of families who have a little more breathing room,” he said.

The strong jobs report is sure to calm nerves among Democrats who’ve been fretting over rising inflation rates and the damage they could do to the party’s chances in the November midterms.

In a statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the report”shows that Democrats’ economic strategy continues to power a strong jobs recovery”.

“Since President Biden took office, our nation has created 7.9 million new jobs – including nearly half a million manufacturing jobs – and slashed the unemployment rate to near pre-pandemic levels at 3.6 per cent with the help of our American Rescue Plan,” she added.

Mr Biden also credited the Covid relief package he signed last year for the job growth since he took office, and said jobs numbers are not just a statistic.

“They go directly to the core of what the economy represents the ability for hardworking Americans to live with dignity, support their families and build a better life for their children,” he said.

He continued: “People are making more money, they're finding better jobs, and after decades of being mistreated and paid too little more and more American workers have real power now to get better wages and to do what's best for themselves and their families”.

“Some people see that as a problem — I don’t,” he said. “I see that as long overdue”.

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