According to the Labor Department 266,000 jobs were added to the economy in the month of April, way less than the number expected by economic experts. Estimates from Dow Jones had been as high as one million with an unemployment rate at 5.8%.
The Labor Department previously reported that 916,000 jobs had been added, but the number was later revised to 770,000. February’s numbers of 468,000 had been revised to 536,000.
“I think this is just as much about a shortage in labor supply as it is about a shortage of labor demand,” Jason Furman said, who is an economist at Harvard University. “If you look at April , it appears that there were about 1.1 unemployed workers for every job opening. So, there are a lot of jobs out there, there is just still not a lot of labor supply.”
Leisure and hospitality saw some of the highest gains, hiring 331,000, even though it was still short of the 2.9 million as it was before the pandemic tanked the economy.
Education added 31,000 as schools are re-opening. Professional and business services declined by 111,000; support services declined to 15,000, and manufacturing declined by 18,000.
Household employment was up by 328,000, still much lower than it was in February 2020. The participation rate in labor force rose from 0.2 to 6.1%, better than its previous level from August. The employment-to-population rate increased to 57.9%.
Justin Wolfers, who is a Senior Fellow at Peterson Institute for Internation Economics, said on Twitter that the report is “disappointing at a moment in which forecasters expected + 1 million jobs, and we’re still missing millions of pandemic jobs. This is a big miss that changes how we think about the economy.”
Sources: CNBC, The Week, Labor Department.