U.S. employers extended a robust hiring streak in March, adding 431,000 jobs, a sign of the economy’s resilience in the face of a still-destructive pandemic and the highest inflation in 40 years.
The Labor Department report on Friday showed job growth last month helped reduce the unemployment rate to 3.6%, the lowest level since the pandemic erupted two years ago. .
Despite soaring inflation, persistent supply bottlenecks, the adverse effects of COVID-19 and now a war in Europe, employers have created at least 400,000 jobs for 11 consecutive months.
Inflation could start to weaken consumer spending, the main driver of the economy. Americans increased their spending by just 0.2% in February, down from a much larger gain in January.
Yet the labor market has continued to rebound at an unexpected speed since the coronavirus recession. Job vacancies are at near record highs and jobless claims have fallen to their lowest level since 1969.