FILE – In this Friday, Jan. 8, 2021 file photo, A man walks out of a Marc’s Store in Mayfield Heights, Ohio. With viral cases declining, consumers spending again and more businesses easing restrictions, America’s employers likely delivered another month of robust hiring in April, reinforcing the economy’s steady rebound from the pandemic recession.
WASHINGTON (AP) — With viral cases declining, consumers spending again and more businesses easing restrictions, America’s employers likely delivered another month of robust hiring in April, reinforcing the economy’s steady rebound from the pandemic recession.
Economists have forecast that the nation added 975,000 jobs last month, according to a survey by FactSet, after adding 916,000 in March, and that the unemployment rate slipped from 6% to 5.8%. The size of such job gains was essentially unheard-of before the pandemic.
The government will issue the April jobs report at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time Friday.
Yet most of the hiring represents a bounce-back after tens of millions of jobs were lost when the pandemic flattened the economy 14 months ago. Even if economists’ estimate for April hiring proves accurate, the economy would remain about 7 million jobs short of its pre-pandemic level.
At the same time, optimism about a sustained recovery is rising. Americans are, on average, flush with cash, thanks in part to $1,400 stimulus checks that have gone to most adults and to savings that many affluent households managed to build up during the pandemic. Fueled by that extra money, Americans are buying more homes and cars, boosting restaurant and retail sales and filling more airline seats.
And most economists expect outsize job growth to continue in the coming months as vaccinations are widely administered and trillions in government aid spreads through the economy. Even if another uptick in COVID-19 cases were to occur, analysts don’t expect most states and cities to reimpose tough business restrictions. Oxford Economics, a consulting firm, predicts that a total of 8 million jobs will be added this year, reducing the unemployment rate to a low 4.3% by the final three months of 2021.