The Labor Department reported Friday that nonfarm payrolls increased by 916,000 in March, the highest since August 2020, while the unemployment rate fell to 6%. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones were expecting an increase of 675,000 and a jobless rate of 6%.
Wall Street kicked off the month of April with a strong rally. The S&P 500 jumped more than 1% to top the 4,000 threshold for the first time on Thursday, bringing its 2021 gains to 7%. Last week’s strength came after President Joe Biden introduced his multitrillion-dollar infrastructure proposal, which focuses on rebuilding roads, bridges and airports, expanding broadband access and boosting electric vehicle use and updating the country’s electric grid. The plan will be funded partly by a hike in the corporate tax rate to 28%.
However, the plan faces opposition among Republicans as the $2 trillion plan includes initiatives that they say extend beyond traditional infrastructure issues. On the pandemic front, the U.S. reported another daily record of new Covid vaccinations Saturday, pushing the weekly average of new shots per day above 3 million.