For the labor market, it's February 2020.
Overall, the number of employed Americans is now above pre-pandemic levels, according to the Labor Department. But the degree of the economic recovery varies dramatically by sector or industry. There are now nearly 1 million more jobs in the professional and business services sector and roughly 41,000 more jobs in manufacturing than there were before the pandemic hit.
The recovery in manufacturing is notable, since manufacturing jobs have been a big push for Democrats and the White House. Congress recently passed a law to promote domestic semiconductor manufacturing, and the spending package backed by Democrats would have additional funds for construction and energy projects.
There are political implications in the jobs numbers Friday: Americans have grown increasingly anxious about rising prices and the risk of recession. It most certainly will be at the forefront of the minds of voters during November's midterm elections as the Democrats seek to maintain control of Congress.
President Joe Biden took credit for the resilient labor market Friday, saying "it's the result of my economic plan."
The leisure and hospitality sector created 96,000 jobs last month, but that sector remains the most negatively impacted by the pandemic— it's still short roughly 1.2 million jobs compared to pre-pandemic levels. Government jobs also remain below their levels before the pandemic by roughly half a million positions.