US labour market strengthens after jobs surge, oil prices hit 14-month high

US labour market strengthens after jobs surge, oil prices hit 14-month high

The US economy bounced back strongly in February adding 379,000 jobs as more states reopened for business and more vaccines against the coronavirus became available, write Dominic Rushe and Michael Sainato on the other side of the pond.

The number was the largest gains the Department of Labor has recorded since November and came after jobs were lost in December and a lackluster January report when just 49,000 new jobs were added. The unemployment rate dropped slightly to 6.2%.

Coronavirus infection rates remain at high levels and close to 520,000 people have now died of Covid-19 but states including Texas, Massachusetts and New York have all moved to roll back business closures as more vaccine becomes available.

The latest job report means the US is still close to 10m jobs short of where it was before the pandemic hit and troubling signs remain in the employment market.

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