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Special Report

Employment Research Brief

March 2021

 One Year Into the Health Crisis, Job Recovery Regains Momentum

Easing restrictions aid employment at bars and restaurants. Employers added 379,000 workers to payrolls in February, the largest monthly gain since November. Hiring was most prolific in the leisure and hospitality sector with 355,000 new jobs. About 80 percent of those positions were at bars and restaurants, reflecting the benefit of relaxed restrictions on dining, particularly in California and New York, as well as ongoing stimulus measures. Other sectors of the economy that grew staff counts included retail trade, health care, manufacturing and temporary help services. Amid this job creation, the unemployment rate fell 10 basis points to 6.2 percent, down 860 basis points from the April 2020 high but still above the pre-health crisis level of 3.5 percent.

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