Home U.S Good Friday, March jobs report, Women's Final Four: 5 things to know...

Good Friday, March jobs report, Women's Final Four: 5 things to know Friday

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Economists optimistic about jobs report releasing Friday

Economists expect the March jobs report released Friday to show that the economy added a robust number of jobs, according to the data firm FactSet. The firm reports 614,000 jobs were added last month and the unemployment rate fell from 6.2% to 6%. Some economists are even more optimistic: Joe Brusuelas, chief economist at the tax advisory firm RSM, is predicting 1 million added jobs for March. These projections come after February also saw hiring accelerate, with employers adding 379,000 jobs across the U.S. However, the optimism also arrives as the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose by 61,000 last week to 719,000, signaling that many employers are still cutting jobs.

Christians across the globe kick off the holy weekend

Friday is a big day for Christians around the world as they begin celebrating the holy weekend with Good Friday. The weekend starts by commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, and the weekend concludes with Easter Sunday. For the second consecutive year, Easter and other spring holiday plans have to be altered due to the pandemic. “This is a situation where people really need to very carefully navigate their risk with their family and their friends,” said Maimuna Majumder, a computational epidemiologist and faculty member at Harvard Medical School.

NCAA Women’s Final Four tips off

The Final Four of the NCAA women’s basketball Tournament tips off Friday evening, when No. 1 seeds Stanford and South Carolina face off (ESPN, 6 p.m. ET). Both teams cruised to the Final Four by winning all of their NCAA Tournament games by double figures. On the other side of the bracket, UConn will square off against Arizona (ESPN, 9:30 p.m. ET). Unlike South Carolina and Stanford, both UConn and Arizona have dealt with close calls in this tournament. In the Elite Eight, UConn held off No. 2 Baylor, winning 69-67 in controversial fashion, while Arizona had to hold on to beat No. 11 BYU in the second round. The winners of Friday’s games will meet for the National Championship Sunday.

Stimulus checks coming for some Social Security recipients, others

Starting Friday, relief payments as part of President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan will begin going to Social Security and other federal beneficiaries who didn’t file a 2020 or 2019 tax return and didn’t use the Non-Filers tool last year, the Internal Revenue Service said. These payments will go to Social Security retirement, survivor or disability, Supplemental Security Income and Railroad Retirement Board beneficiaries. The agency projects that the majority of these payments will be sent electronically and received by April 7. The IRS sent out relief checks to more than 4 million Americans the third round of payments made under Biden’s plan, the agency said Thursday. That brings the total disbursed payments from the latest stimulus package to more than 130 million payments, worth about $335 billion. The payments, which total up to $1,400 each per individual, were distributed mostly by direct deposits and paper checks.

Chrissy Teigen on the cover of People’s ‘The Beautiful Issue’

Chrissy Teigen will grace the front of People magazine’s “The Beautiful Issue” for a cover story that hits newsstands Friday. It delves into her evolved definition of beauty, facing racism growing up and her heartbreaking miscarriage last year. Teigen, who is of Thai-Norwegian descent, said she wants to follow her Thai tradition in remembering her son, Jack, who died at 20 weeks of her pregnancy. She was hospitalized with excessive bleeding before the miscarriage. She added that it’s important for her children, Luna and Miles, to stay connected with their late brother and always “embrace the ones that we’ve lost” based on her tradition. 

Contributing: The Associated Press

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