Updated from 9:55 a.m. ESTThe labor market roared back to life in March, adding 308,000 nonfarm jobs, as the Federal Reserve's two-year-old commitment to easy credit finally sparked the employment revival seen as crucial to President Bush's re-election. Stocks, bond yields and the dollar spiked on the news. In addition to March's blowout number, which represented the greatest monthly job growth since April 2000, the Labor Department also revised higher the number of jobs added in the year's first two months. In January, payrolls grew by 159,000, not the 97,000 reported last month, and February payroll growth was 46,000, not the originally reported 21,000. "We've known all along the economy is growing, and employment was a lagging indicator. This was a catching up," said Vincent Malanga, president of LaSalle Economics. "The labor market looks a lot stronger than it did five minutes ago." Taken together, the economy added 513,000 jobs in the first quarter of 2004, welcome news to a presidential administration that has seen 2 million jobs evaporate in the three years since it took office. The data put new pressure on the Federal Reserve, which historically has avoided a tightening in the second half of an election year. The action in stocks, where the Dow was recently up 80 points, indicated that traders deemed it too early to worry about higher rates. "This doesn't prove anything yet," said Jim Melcher, president of Balestra Capital. "If it goes on, then they could raise a modest amount before the election to show that they're doing something." "At this level, which may be an overstatement, it's going to take four or five years of month-to-month over-300,000 payrolls to get us to where we would be at this point in any of the previous postwar recession recoveries," Melcher said. But bond prices tanked on the news as traders kissed goodbye the prospect of more easing and got defensive. The 10-year Treasury note plunged 1 30/32, its yield spiking to 4.13% from 3.89% before the number hit. Futures on Eurodollar contracts, a historically reliable proxy for the market's rate expectations, priced in a quarter-point tightening before September.