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Jobs Report Misses Expectations by a Mile

Employers added 266K jobs, well under predictions of about 1M
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 7, 2021 7:55 AM CDT
Updated May 7, 2021 8:33 AM CDT

(Newser) – The new unemployment report for April is out, and the takeaway number didn't come close to meeting expectations. Details:

  • The number: Employers added 266,000 jobs in the month, even though analysts had expected roughly 1 million, reports CNBC. The outlet characterizes the figure as a "huge letdown." What's more, the March increase of 916,000 was revised downward to 770,000.
  • The rate: The unemployment rate rose from 6% to 6.1%. Though a disappointment, that's down from a record-high 14.8% last April, notes the Wall Street Journal.
  • 2 reasons: The AP sees the disappointing hiring figure as a sign that employers are struggling to find people to fill openings. Supply-chain problems also may be limiting what businesses can do, per the Journal.
  • Bright spot: The leisure and hospitality industry saw the biggest gain with 331,000 new hires, though that still leaves the industry 2.9 million jobs short of pre-pandemic levels. Those gains were offset by losses in other sectors, including manufacturing, retail, and temping in general.

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  • A blip? At MarketWatch, Jeffry Bartash suggests that the April figures will likely end up being a "temporary blip" in the recovery. "Falling coronavirus cases and massive federal stimulus have turbocharged the economy and job openings have surged," he writes. The US remains poised "for a summer of strong growth."
(Read more unemployment stories.)

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