The U.S. economy added 196,000 jobs in March, the Labor Department reported Friday, a greater-than-expected increase and a resounding rebound from the month before.
The news almost immediately caused markets to tick up, and helped ease investors fears of a cooling economy.
All the major indices were trading higher in Friday morning trading.
The unemployment rate held steady at 3.8 percent, nearly the lowest it’s been in 49 years.
March marked the 102nd straight month of job growth, and showed a significant increase in hiring from February, when deeply disappointing job numbers raised alarms for investors.
The Labor Department revised up slightly the surprisingly weak February number from 20,000 to 33,000; January, which had been above expectations, was also revised up slightly to 312,000.
The jobs numbers released Friday seem to indicate that February’s anemic hiring was an anomaly, and that one of the economy’s longest expansions on record shows signs of endurance. Still, the average monthly job growth in the first quarter this year is about 20 percent lower than the 2018 year-long average of 233,000.