The increasingly bright outlook for the job market follows a year of epic job losses, waves of coronavirus infections and small business closures. There are numerous signs that the economy is improving. Consumer confidence reached its highest level since the pandemic worsened in March.
A survey found that manufacturing grew in March at its fastest pace since 1983. And vaccinations are increasingly being given, although new confirmed infections have risen from lower levels in the past few weeks.
The $ 1,400 check in President Joe Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion economic aid plan have greatly increased consumer spending, according to Bank of America’s tracking of debit and credit cards. Spending rose 23% in the third week of March compared to before the pandemic, the bank said.
Spending had already spiked in March, even before the stimulus checks arrived, as the number of viral cases fell from their highs in January. Americans are increasingly willing to set off from home to travel and eat out, albeit not at their pre-pandemic pace. According to the Transportation Services Administration, around 1.5 million people were traveling through airports on March 28. That was roughly eight times the previous year, although it was still down sharply from 2.5 million on the same day in 2019.
The transport analysis company Inrix has calculated that daily car journeys returned to pre-pandemic levels At the end of last month. In the last week of March, many of these trips were likely to be in restaurants where the number of seated diners averaged just 25% below pre-pandemic levels, according to OpenTable, a restaurant software provider. This is a 50% increase in pre-pandemic traffic just six weeks earlier.
The burgeoning economic activity shows signs of more jobs.
Karen Fichuk, CEO of Randstad North America, a recruiting firm, said the company was looking to fill 38% more permanent positions than it did late last year. Labor demand is particularly high in manufacturing, information technology, logistics and healthcare.