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Service Sector Jobs Are Catching Up

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The American economy added 431,000 jobs in March, and the unemployment rate declined to 3.6% from 3.8% in February.

Here’s an update on the major happenings in the economy and stock market this past week.

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With an increase of 431,000 employees in March, the nation now employs nearly as many people full-time as it did before the pandemic struck in February 2020. Employment is down by 1.6 million from its pre-pandemic level in February 2020.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today that the unemployment rate declined to 3.6%. Leisure and hospitality job growth is an interesting aspect of the historic recovery from the pandemic.

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Employment in leisure and hospitality continued to increase in March, with a gain of +112,000. Job growth occurred in food services and drinking places (+61,000) and accommodation (+25,000).

Since February 2020, employment in leisure and hospitality is still down by 1.5 million, or 8.7%. This is the part of the economy most severely affected by the pandemic and its full recovery benefits service workers the most.

“Average weekly earnings for non-supervisory employees in leisure and hospitality businesses grew much faster than price increases over the past year,” according to a Labor Department release today.

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The Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index closed Friday, April 1, 2022, at 4,545.86. The index gained +0.34% from Thursday and was up +0.06% from last week. The stock index is up +68.06% from the March 23, 2020, bear market low.

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This article was written by a professional financial journalist for Advisor Products and is not intended as legal or investment advice.

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