On The Money: US adds 916K jobs in March, shattering expectations | Biden touts gains, hawks infrastructure bill
Happy Friday and welcome back to On The Money, where we’re wishing a Happy Easter to all who observe. I’m Sylvan Lane, and here’s your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.
THE BIG DEAL—Biden touts March jobs gain as recovery accelerates: President Biden on Friday touted a stellar March jobs report but argued that a full recovery from the coronavirus pandemic depended on the passage of his $2.5 trillion infrastructure plan.
- In remarks at the White House on Friday, the president hailed the economy’s stunning gain of 916,000 jobs in March as a promising sign of progress against the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Economists had expected the U.S. to add roughly 675,000 jobs last month.
Even so, Biden argued that the rebound from the pandemic could slip away without the enactment of his American Rescue Plan, a massive investment in the U.S. economy funded by corporate tax hikes.
“In the face of this great news, I need also to make this clear and direct statement to the American people: Progress we’ve worked so hard to achieve can be reversed,” Biden said.
“As we get the economy back on his feet, we need to do the hard work of building back better — for good, not just for a while, but for good.”
Breaking down the March jobs report: Accelerating COVID-19 vaccinations, easing restrictions and growing confidence fueled a remarkable surge in hiring in March, helping the U.S. add 916,000 jobs last month and push the jobless rate down to 6 percent.
- The hard-hit leisure and hospitality sector led March’s haul with a gain of 280,000 job and 176,000 jobs in food and beverage service places. Arts, entertainment and recreation added 64,000 jobs, and accommodation added 40,000.
- Education added 190,000 jobs in March as in-person schooling resumed across much of the U.S., and the construction sector added 110,000 jobs.
The two surveys used to calculate the March employment report were conducted the week Biden signed a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill. While the March jobs report does not capture the direct fiscal impact of Biden’s relief measure, it may capture some of the decisions made based on the bill’s likely passage. I’ll walk you through the report here.
The big takeaway: “Job growth accelerated sharply in March, with gains across a number of sectors, including both goods-producing and service-providing industries. We fully expect that this pace of job gains will continue for months, and anticipate that the unemployment rate, now at 6 percent, will be well below 5 percent by the end of the year,” wrote Mike Fratantoni, chief economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association, in a Friday analysis.
LEADING THE DAY
White House delays release of budget plan: The White House is delaying the release of its top-line spending request for the 2022 fiscal year, further putting off the start of the annual process of funding the government despite earlier indications that the proposal would be released this week.
“We’re planning to release the discretionary request soon,” said Rob Friedlander, the spokesperson for the White House Office of Management and Budget.
The issue: Budget law sets February as the deadline for the president’s budget request, though new administrations typically draw the process out, but only until mid-March. Even so, Republicans have hammered the White House for its delays on the proposal.
The Hill’s Niv Elis and Brett Samuels tell us why here.
GOOD TO KNOW
- At least 55 major profitable companies didn’t pay any federal corporate income taxes last year, according to a report by the left-leaning Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP).
- The New York attorney general has launched a probe into the personal financial records of the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer.
- The IRS announced its disbursal of a third batch of payments from the latest COVID-19 relief package with billions of dollars in direct money going to millions of Americans.
- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on Thursday unveiled changes to the National Flood Insurance Program that it says will be aimed at being more equitable.
ODDS AND ENDS
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidance Friday that will eventually allow cruises to fully resume in U.S. waters, though it did not include a date for when ships will be allowed to sail.
- Major League Baseball (MLB) announced Friday that it is pulling its All-Star Game for the 2021 season out of Georgia in protest of the state’s new voting restrictions signed into law last month.