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COVID Impact: U.S. Added 900,000-Plus Jobs In March, The Third Straight Month Of Growth

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The latest jobs report shows a surge in hiring across the country.

More than 900,000 jobs were added to the economy last month, a sign that a recovery could be taking hold, CBS2's Kiran Dhillon reported Friday.

It's back to business for Bar Dough in Hell's Kitchen, where 50% of its employees are now back to work after COVID-19 restrictions forced the restaurant to shut down in January for two months.

"It's tumultuous," bar manager Alexander D. said. "It was a bummer, obviously. It was a let down."


Alexander isn't the only person who entered the workforce last month, as businesses eased restrictions, more people got vaccinated, and stimulus money fueled the economy.

Employers added 916,000 jobs in March, the third consecutive month of gains. As a result, the nationwide unemployment rate dropped from 6.2% to 6%.

READ MORELatest U.S. Jobs Report Shows Strongest Hiring Bump In Months As Vaccination Efforts Ramp Up

President Joe Biden addressed the increase on Friday.

"My message to the American people is this: Help is here. Opportunity is coming," Biden said.

The job growth took place across a variety of industries, with the biggest increases in leisure and hospitality, education, and construction.

Teresa Ghilarducci, an economics professor at the New School for Social Research in New York City, said the recovery in the Tri-State Area has been robust.

"We are also seeing a return to restaurants and the hospitality and leisure industry. When Broadway opens up in September, we're going to see an even more robust recovery," Ghilarducci said.


But despite the good news, Ghilarducci said the economy is still about 11 millions jobs short of where it would be had the pandemic not happened, adding at the current pace the economy will fully recover, but it could take several years.

She said more government stimulus, vaccinations and the passing of President Biden's $2 trillion infrastructure proposal are necessary to further boost the economy.

"We're going to see the stimulus checks have their effect as people absorb the fact that they have more money in their pockets. The anticipation of the increased spending from the infrastructure bill. That creates construction jobs. That creates home health care jobs," Ghilarducci said.

READ MORECOVID Unemployment: Many Over Age 50 Having Difficult Time Finding Work In Their Field

Back at Bar Dough, the employees hope the economy's upward trajectory is here to stay.

"With the summer coming and everything like that, more people are going to be able to come out. More people are going to want to come in," Alexander said.

They hope more jobs will lead to more spending and more customers.

CBS2's Kiran Dhillon contributed to this report

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