The U.S. economy is set for a hiring boom in the months ahead as the coronavirus pandemic recedes. There are signs it’s already underway.

Kevin Vaughan, the owner of six bars and restaurants in the Chicago area, including the Emerald Loop Bar & Grill downtown, says he plans to double the size of his 90-person staff in the coming weeks. He’s already brought back about 40 workers in the past month as the city reopened indoor dining at 50% capacity.

“We’ve seen a noticeable uptick in business in the last few weeks as the weather got a little bit better,” Vaughan said. “And we’ve been rehiring people immediately.”

Bars and restaurants across the country added almost 300,000 jobs in February, marking the first substantial increase in four months, according to Labor Department data. Forecasters say the vaccine rollout and the growth of personal savings will encourage Americans to spend, and employers will be keen to meet the demand.

Economists at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. see the unemployment rate falling to 4.1% by the end of the year from 6.2% in February. Hiring should be especially swift since two thirds of the remaining pandemic job losses are in industries hard hit by the virus.

What Bloomberg Economists Say

Were it not for inclement weather, the February payroll print would have been closer to 400k or more. The reopening of the economy plus payback for bad weather will lead to a much stronger outcome in March.

--Carl Riccadonna, Eliza Winger and Andrew Husby

Click here for the full note.