US non-farm payrolls beat expectations today, with the US economy adding 379,000 new jobs in February.
Analysts had only pencilled in an increase of 198,000 new jobs.
However, the US is still 9m job roles short of its level before the Covid-19 pandemic.
The surge in new starters in February puts the US unemployment rate down 0.1 percentage points to 6.2 per cent.
The US dollar jumped on the good news, up around 0.5 per cent again the British pound and euro.
The closely watched employment report also offered a reminder that as the US enters the second year of the Cobid-19 pandemic the recovery remains excruciatingly slow, with millions of Americans experiencing long spells of joblessness and permanent unemployment.
Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell yesterday offered an optimistic view of the labour market, but cautioned a return to full employment this year was “highly unlikely.”
Though the unemployment rate fell, it continues to be understated by people misclassifying themselves as being “employed but absent from work.”
The labour market has been slow to respond to the drop in daily coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, which helped fuel a boost in consumer spending in January that prompted economists to sharply upgrade their gross domestic product growth estimates for the first quarter.
However, Seema Shah, chief strategist at Principal Global Investors said the strnger jobs number could help settle nerves on equity markets about a strengthening economy.
“Strong earnings growth as the US economy reopens and the tremendous fiscal stimulus feeds through to consumers will start to validate those stretched valuations – provided the Fed can get a handle of tightening financial conditions”.