Employers only added 266,000 new jobs last month and the unemployment rate rose to 6.1 percent, falling short of April’s expected hiring boom.
Economists expected a higher number of jobs added as the U.S. economy shows signs of bouncing back after the coronavirus pandemic.
The only major industry to see a six-digit gain in jobs was the leisure and hospitality sector, marking the third consecutive month of job gains for the sector, according to Business Insider.
“At least job gains picked up in the leisure and hospitality sector, where job growth is desperately needed,” said Nick Bunker, an economist at employment website Indeed.
“But the gains were not as fast as hoped for or, frankly, as needed. Employment in these industries is still almost 17% below pre-pandemic levels.”
The government sector’s job numbers rose by 48,000 last month, with local education adding 31,000 jobs within the sector.
April’s job numbers are down from March’s revised number of 770,000 and February’s revised number of 536,000, according to CNBC.
The 6.1 percent unemployment rate is far below April 2020’s peak of 14.7 percent, but double pre-pandemic levels, according to Fox News.
There are also 8.2 million fewer jobs than there were before the crisis began, according to an April report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The stock market had a mild reaction to the jobs report, which likely shows investors believe this to be a short-term issue.
“It certainly takes the pressure off the Fed and takes an imminent rate increase off the table,” JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade, told CNBC.
“We’re not going to see inflation in wages, and we don’t have as many people employed as we thought, so we have to keep the party going.”
According to a recent Bank of America analyst note, about 4.6 million workers left the workforce during the pandemic and only half are expected to return by the year’s end, Fox News reported.
Many companies have blamed the unemployment benefits and aid provided to workers during the pandemic for keeping people out of the workforce.
The Biden administration has also proposed another $4 trillion in spending to boost low- and middle-income families.
“We’ve known for some time now that there are tensions or mismatches between the demand for workers and a large number of job openings and the large number of unemployed individuals,” Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate, told Fox News.
“Many employers report struggling to find available workers. Supply constraints are also limiting further improvement in output.”
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