Connect with us

Economy

U.S. economy added 916,000 jobs in March, as vaccinations spur return to normal – NBC News

Published

 on


The U.S. economy added 916,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate fell to 6 percent, in the strongest indication yet that the labor market is finally working its way back to pre-pandemic norms as the number of vaccinations continues to rise.

The hiring and employment data, released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, firmly beat economists’ predictions of 675,000 positions added.

While the latest unemployment rate is far removed from its April peak of 14.8 percent, it is still much higher than its pre-pandemic level of 3.5 percent, which was the lowest in almost 50 years.

“It actually seems like the economy can reopen because the pandemic is getting under control,” said Glassdoor Senior Economist Daniel Zhao, citing the pace of vaccinations.

The U.S. is now averaging close to 3 million vaccinations a day, with more than one-quarter of all U.S. adults having already received at least one dose and 16 percent fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Economists and Federal Reserve officials have long stressed that widespread vaccination is the key to economic recovery.

“In a nutshell, it’s a combination of better developments on Covid, particularly the vaccines, and also economic support from Congress,” Fed Chairman Jerome Powell told NPR’s “Morning Edition” in a live interview last month. “That’s going to enable us to reopen the economy sooner than might have been expected.”

President Joe Biden’s sweeping proposal to revamp the nation’s infrastructure could also go some way toward helping those whose lives were upturned by the pandemic, economists say.

“The U.S. hasn’t seen significant federal investment in over 60 years since the interstate highway system was built. Big boosts from the rescue plan and the recovery act will help those hardest hit by the pandemic and recession to get to the other side in better shape,” said Yelena Maleyev, economist at Grant Thornton.

Biden has said the plan could create millions of jobs.

“If we act now, in 50 years people are going to look back and say, ‘This was the moment that America won the future,'” Biden said on Wednesday, when he unveiled the details.

A heady mix of pent-up demand, substantial savings and improving consumer confidence all mean the economic recovery could even be “better than expected,” said Mark Hamrick, senior economist at Bankrate, noting the importance of “increases in the pace and supply of Covid-19 vaccinations, continuing federal stimulus payments and the reopening of the economy across the country.”

However, economists caution that, while better numbers lie ahead, there is still a long way to go. The economy would need to add around 950,000 jobs a month for the next 10 months to return to pre-pandemic levels.

“A year into the recession, the labor market is still down 9.5 million jobs from where it stood immediately before the Covid-19 shock. If we add in jobs that should have been created over that time to absorb new workers, we’re facing a jobs shortfall today of nearly 12 million jobs,” said Elise Gould, senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Economy

CANADA STOCKS – TSX ends flat at 19,228.03

Published

 on

* The Toronto Stock Exchange’s TSX falls 0.00 percent to 19,228.03

* Leading the index were Corus Entertainment Inc <CJRb.TO​>, up 7.0%, Methanex Corp​, up 6.4%, and Canaccord Genuity Group Inc​, higher by 5.5%.

* Lagging shares were Denison Mines Corp​​, down 7.0%, Trillium Therapeutics Inc​, down 7.0%, and Nexgen Energy Ltd​, lower by 5.7%.

* On the TSX 93 issues rose and 128 fell as a 0.7-to-1 ratio favored decliners. There were 26 new highs and no new lows, with total volume of 183.7 million shares.

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Toronto-dominion Bank, Nutrien Ltd and Organigram Holdings Inc.

* The TSX’s energy group fell 1.61 points, or 1.4%, while the financials sector climbed 0.67 points, or 0.2%.

* West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 0.44%, or $0.26, to $59.34 a barrel. Brent crude  fell 0.24%, or $0.15, to $63.05 [O/R]

* The TSX is up 10.3% for the year.

Continue Reading

Economy

Canadian dollar outshines G10 peers, boosted by jobs surge

Published

 on

Canadian dollar

By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) – The Canadian dollar advanced against its broadly stronger U.S. counterpart on Friday as data showing the economy added far more jobs than expected in March offset lower oil prices, with the loonie also gaining for the week.

Canada added 303,100 jobs in March, triple analyst expectations, driven by the recovery across sectors hit by shutdowns in December and January to curb the new coronavirus.

“The Canadian economy keeps beating expectations,” said Michael Goshko, corporate risk manager at Western Union Business Solutions. “It seems like the economy is adapting to these closures and restrictions.”

Stronger-than-expected economic growth could pull forward the timing of the first interest rate hike by the Bank of Canada, Goshko said.

The central bank has signaled that its benchmark rate will stay at a record low of 0.25% until 2023. It is due to update its economic forecasts on April 21, when some analysts expect it to cut bond purchases.

The Canadian dollar was trading 0.3% higher at 1.2530 to the greenback, or 79.81 U.S. cents, the biggest gain among G10 currencies. For the week, it was also up 0.3%.

Still, speculators have cut their bullish bets on the Canadian dollar to the lowest since December, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed. As of April 6, net long positions had fallen to 2,690 contracts from 6,518 in the prior week.

The price of oil, one of Canada‘s major exports, was pressured by rising supplies from major producers. U.S. crude prices settled 0.5% lower at $59.32 a barrel, while the U.S. dollar gained ground against a basket of major currencies, supported by higher U.S. Treasury yields.

Canadian government bond yields also climbed and the curve steepened, with the 10-year up 4.1 basis points at 1.502%.

 

(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

Continue Reading

Economy

Canadian dollar rebounds from one-week low ahead of jobs data

Published

 on

Canadian dollar

By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) -The Canadian dollar strengthened against its U.S. counterpart on Thursday, recovering from a one-week low the day before, as the level of oil prices bolstered the medium-term outlook for the currency and ahead of domestic jobs data on Friday.

The Canadian dollar was trading 0.4% higher at 1.2560 to the greenback, or 79.62 U.S. cents. On Wednesday, it touched its weakest intraday level since March 31 at 1.2634.

“We have seen partial retracement from the decline over the last couple of days,” said Greg Anderson, global head of foreign exchange strategy at BMO Capital Markets.

“With oil prices where they are – let’s call WCS still at roughly $49 a barrel – I still think CAD has room to strengthen over the medium term and even over a one-week horizon.”

Western Canadian Select (WCS), the heavy blend of oil that Canada produces, trades at a discount to the U.S. benchmark. U.S. crude futures settled 0.3% lower at $59.60 a barrel, but were up nearly 80% since last November.

The S&P 500 closed at a record high as Treasury yields fell following softer-than-anticipated labor market data, while the U.S. dollar fell to a two-week low against a basket of major currencies.

Canada‘s employment report for March, due on Friday, could offer clues on the Bank of Canada‘s policy outlook. The central bank has become more upbeat about prospects for economic growth, while some strategists expect it to cut bond purchases at its next interest rate announcement on April 21.

On a more cautious note for the economy, Ontario, Canada‘s most populous province, initiated a four-week stay-at-home order as it battles a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Canadian government bond yields were lower across a flatter curve in sympathy with U.S. Treasuries. The 10-year fell 3.3 basis points to 1.469%.

(Reporting by Fergal Smith;Editing by Alison Williams and Jonathan Oatis)

Continue Reading

Trending