U.S. Economy Bouncing Back: 916,000 Jobs Recovered in March
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly report, the unemployment rate fell to 6% from 6.2% in March. Still, it’s a long way from the 3.5% enjoyed here in the United States before the Covid-19 pandemic crushed the U.S. economy.
You’re going to hear and read a great deal of celebration about the U.S. economy showing that 916,000 jobs were recovered last month. But we’re still recovering jobs as vaccine distribution is now on the verge of covering 100 million Americans with the needed 2 shots. After Congress passed a short-term $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act (a short-term stimulus package) and states have begun lifting restrictions on businesses.
The improving labor report comes a year after the pandemic threw the U.S. economy into a tailspin. To date, the U.S. economy has recovered approximately 12 million or 22 million jobs lost in the first two months of the pandemic. While the recovery pace slowed through Thanksgiving and New Year, it now appears there’s a chance it may be picking up.
In fact, the March labor report showed the number of jobs recovered was both the third straight month of job growth since and the largest boost in employment since August.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics survey was conducted the week of March 12th, the same week that the stimulus package was passed entirely by the Democratic majorities in the House and Senate and signed into law by President Biden.
The jobs report shows increases that will stoke hopes that the U.S. will recover the 10 million jobs needed to return the country to its pre-pandemic prosperity.
The improvement in employment was driven by gains in industries that have been among the hardest hit by the pandemic. The leisure and hospitality sectors of the U.S economy saw 280,000 jobs come back last month as Covid-19 restrictions were eased across the country. Most of the increase, approximately 176,000 jobs, came from hiring at restaurants, bars, and other food service establishments. Thanks to monies made available by President Biden’s $1.9 Trillion recovery package. Another 104,000 jobs came back in the Hotel, Arts; Entertainment, and Recreation sectors.
To give some perspective, the restaurant industry is still underwater approximately 3 million jobs from pre-pandemic levels.
In other sectors, the employment rose by 126,000 jobs in public education at the state and local levels and 64,000 in private education. In comparison, the Construction sector of the economy gained 110,000 jobs, a nice bounce back from a very disappointing decline in February.
President Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress are now working to pass a $2 trillion infrastructure believing the American Rescue Plan Act was a short-term band aid for the U.S. economy. By passing an 8-year comprehensive infrastructure, his administration can both bolster the post-pandemic economy and at the same time dramatically build back better the countries roads, highways, bridges, ports, airports, and other essential American infrastructure to better compete against foreign economies like China.
The Biden infrastructure plan outlined Wednesday, which proposes more than $2 trillion in spending over eight years, requires a raise in the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28% to fund it. Biden announcing the plan in a union hall in Pittsburgh called his plan will help create “the strongest, most resilient, innovative economy in the world” — and millions of “good-paying jobs” along the way.
The White House framing the proposed infrastructure spending as a jobs bill makes a case for tax hikes for those making over $400,000 a year but is heavily dependent on taxing the top 1% earners and large corporations. These tax increases and measures the bill proposes are designed to stop the offshoring of profits are intended to fund Biden’s “Build Back Better” infrastructure plan over15 years.
President Biden’s $2.2 trillion plan is the most ambitious infrastructure proposal since the aftermath of World War II and would…
- Put as much as $621 billion into transportation infrastructures such as bridges, public transit, ports, airports and electric vehicle development.
- Injects $400 billion to care for the elderly and the disabled in this country.
- Commits more than $300 billion into improving drinking water infrastructure by replacing existing lead piping, expanding broadband access and upgrading electric grids
- Allocates more than $300 billion into building and retrofitting affordable housing, along with constructing and upgrading schools.
- Invests $580 billion in U.S. manufacturing.
- Proposes to expand senior citizen caretaking by $400 Billion as the baby boomer population surges the elderly population.
Assuming the current rate of job growth continues at the current rate, it will take until June of 2022, 15 months, to return the U.S. economy to the pre-pandemic level. President Biden has stated that to ensure that U.S. employment not only climbs back to the 2020 highs but is “built back better,” as he promised during his 2020 presidential campaign, it’s essential to recognize the 10 million jobs still not recovered. Also, we must realize that another 4 million people who have left the labor force in the last year are not included in the calculations we’re seeing quoted by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.
It’s important to recognize that President Trump promised trillions of dollars of infrastructure renewal when he ran for president and promised to deliver a plan many times in “two to three weeks” while he was president from January 2017-January 2021 and never delivered. Despite this reality, Republican lawmakers led by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have declared he will do everything he can to prevent President Biden’s plan from being enacted.
Republican efforts to kill Biden’s infrastructure bill, will have to overcome the drumbeat for the true need for new infrastructure and improvements that will prevent roads, bridges and etc., from collapsing. This was something Trump repeatedly insisted destroy the United States’ competitiveness in the world economy. By labeling this new Biden infrastructure legislation a jobs bill and the GOP providing no votes in passing the American Rescue Plan Act, the grand old party could be setting itself up to be labeled as the “do-nothing party;” that has only a destructive economic and racist agenda that’s intended to stop President Biden building back better and making sure as few people can vote in 2022 and 2024 as possible.
The American Rescue Plan Act was passed through the Senate via budget reconciliation with no Republican votes in the Senate. The same approach is likely to be needed to pass President Biden’s more than $2 trillion infrastructure bill.
U.S. adds 916,000 jobs in March, unemployment falls to 6%