The US economy added 266,000 jobs in April, but the gain fell far short of the blockbuster 1 million jobs many analysts were expecting.
As jobs reports go, this one was a major disappointment.
The United States economy added 266,000 in April, the Department of Labor said on Friday. While any gain is far preferable to a loss, the headline number was massively shy of the roughly 1 million non-farm payrolls many analysts were expecting.
The unemployment rate in April was little changed at 6.1 percent, while jobs gains for March were revised downward to 770,000, and February’s were revised up to 536,000.
The deceleration in jobs creation in April signals that the labour market recovery continues to lag the broader economic rebound as more Americans are vaccinated, and a heaping helping of federal virus relief aid helps US consumers rediscover their appetite for spending.
Leisure and hospitality, one of the sectors hardest-hit by COVID-19 restrictions, added 331,000 jobs in April.
While any gains are welcome, there is still a lot of ground to recover for the nation’s labour market. Of the 22 million jobs lost to the initial round of lockdowns in March and April of 2020, more than 8 million have yet to be recovered – and that milestone does not take into account how much the labour force and the economy have grown since then.