Data: FRED; Chart: Axios VisualsGood news for your Friday: the economy added a whopping 379,000 jobs in February — far outpacing expectations. Why it matters: Virus cases eased in recent weeks and states lifted restrictions, helping fuel a hiring surge. It's proof of how much control the pandemic has over the job market.Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axios Markets. Subscribe for freeThe clearest signal: The bounce-back was largely driven by hiring in the leisure and hospitality sectors, which came even in the dead of winter. This sector is a key example of one that can't recover until people feel safe eating and drinking out.Here's the bad news: Job growth peaked with 152.5 million payrolls before the pandemic hit the labor market.Even with today's report — the best jobs growth since October — we're still more than 9 million jobs below that level one year later.And despite the big gains in leisure and hospitality, the sector still has 20% fewer jobs.The number of workers who have been unemployed for 27 weeks or more — 4.1 million — barely budged.Between the lines: President Biden was handed a labor market hobbled by a pandemic. Its recovery hinges on keeping COVID cases low, succeeding with mass vaccination, and getting hard-hit businesses to return to hiring. "February was OK but at that pace, [it] would take 4 1/2 years to recover. We need more like 1m jobs a month," Jason Furman, a former economic adviser in the Obama administration, tweeted.The jobs figures in January and February also came in the wake of improving case numbers and a $900 billion relief bill passed in December, Furman noted. The Senate is currently debating Biden's $1.9 trillion rescue package.The bottom line: Economists are penciling in a "Roaring 20s"-like recovery — with eye-popping growth figures to boot! — as vaccines continue to roll out and the economy opens up.A pessimistic parting shot, courtesy of the Federal Reserve chair: "We have significant ground to cover," Jerome Powell said yesterday, cautioning that a complete job market healing likely won't come this year.Like this article? Get more from Axios and subscribe to Axios Markets for free.