The Conference Board said on Tuesday its consumer confidence index raced to a reading of 121.7 this month. That was the highest level since February 2020, just before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and followed a reading of 109.0 in March. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the index increasing to a reading of 113.0 in April.
But the number was lower than the more than 50,000 workers the company hired around the same time last year, which was nearly double its normal hiring rate, to support a surge in sales at its stores at the height of COVID-19 lockdowns.
The discount retailer said in a statement on Wednesday that it would host hiring events from this month to fill positions in its stores, distribution centers and corporate offices.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits totaled a seasonally adjusted 744,000 for the week ended April 3 compared to 728,000 in the prior week, the Labor Department said on Thursday.
The labor market has regained its footing after stumbling in December, thanks to the White House's massive $1.9 trillion pandemic rescue package and an acceleration in the pace of vaccinations against COVID-19, which are allowing more services businesses to resume operations.
Fed officials, however, maintain that they will keep their easy money plans in place even in the face of a potential bout of inflation this spring in an economy boosted by vaccines and government spending.