Business Report: Hiring picks up, airline worker contract talks, additional COVID-19 vaccination sites

There are more places to get COVID-19 vaccines in New Jersey

Hiring in the U.S. picked up in a big way in February, according to the government’s monthly jobs report. The economy added 379,000 new jobs as restaurants, bars and hotels hired back workers. Despite these monthly gains, millions of workers remain unemployed or underemployed and economists expect a full recovery is a few years away. The nation’s unemployment rate fell slightly to 6.2% but the unemployment rate for Black Americans rose last month to 9.9%.

Contract talks are getting underway for union workers at Newark airport as well as LaGuardia and JFK. Negotiations begin after a troubling year for the airline industry, as the pandemic grounded many flights and led to thousands of layoffs. During a virtual rally to mark the start of the talks, workers said they are looking for improved health care benefits and safety protections. And they pointed out that airlines received billions of dollars in COVID-19-related relief from the federal government.

There are more places to get COVID-19 vaccines in New Jersey as of Friday. CVS says it has added 100 locations in the state. And another retailer, Wegman’s, is also now offering vaccinations, although appointments booked up quickly.

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