COVID’s grip on economy fading

Businesses stepped up their hiring last month as omicron faded and more Americans ventured out to shop.

By

National News

March 4, 2022 - 2:26 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a buoyant sign for the U.S. economy, businesses stepped up their hiring last month as omicron faded and more Americans ventured out to spend at restaurants, shops and hotels despite surging inflation.

Employers added a robust 678,000 jobs in February, the largest monthly total since July, the Labor Department reported Friday. The unemployment rate dropped to 3.8%, from 4% in January, extending a sharp decline in joblessness to its lowest level since before the pandemic erupted two years ago.

Friday’s hiring figures were collected before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has sent oil prices jumping and has heightened risks and uncertainties for economies in Europe and the rest of the world.

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