Employers added 303,000 jobs in the 39th straight month of growth.

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Another month, another burst of strong job gains. Employers added 303,000 jobs in March on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Labor Department reported on Friday.

It was the 39th straight month of job growth and a much larger gain than forecast. The unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent, from 3.9 percent in February.

The continuing strength, labor market analysts say, may increase confidence among investors and the Federal Reserve that the U.S. economy has reached a healthy equilibrium in which a steady roll of commercial activity, growing employment and rising wages coexist.

It’s a remarkable change from a year ago, when top financial analysts were largely convinced that a recession was only months away.

From late 2021 to early 2023, inflation was outstripping wage gains, but that also now appears to have firmly shifted, even as wage increases cool from their peak rates of growth in 2022. Average hourly earnings for workers rose 0.3 percent in March from the previous month and were up 4.1 percent from March 2023.

Revisions to employment data in recent months showed a total uptick of 22,000 jobs.

Some analysts were worried about a trend in one of the two surveys that the government uses to track the labor market: out of step with most other data on job growth and layoffs, it showed weak hiring rates that, if correct, would have probably indicated an economy “already in recession,” according to the economic research team at Bank of America.

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