Jobs report

US Economy Added 266,000 Jobs in April, Far Below Economists’ Expectations

by Julia Sanders

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. economy added 266,000 jobs in April, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported Friday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had expected the report to show a gain of approximately 1 million jobs. The BLS also revised the March job gains downward from 916,000 to 770,000. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate increased 10 basis points to 6.1 percent in April, which was the first time the unemployment rate has increased since March 2020.

The BLS report for April showed notable job gains in the leisure and hospitality sector, which added 331,000 jobs as a result of several states easing up their pandemic-related restrictions on stores, bars and restaurants. States such as Georgia, Texas, Alabama, Arizona, Mississippi and Florida rolled back their pandemic restrictions significantly after millions of Americans received the COVID-19 vaccine.

However, some employment sectors posted a decrease in job growth in April. For example, the temporary help services sector recorded a decrease of 111,000 jobs, manufacturing saw a decrease of 18,000 jobs and retail trade posted a decrease of 15,000 jobs.

The BLS also reported the local government education sector posted an increase in 31,000 jobs in April, while many other sectors were relatively unchanged, including construction, healthcare, mining, wholesale trade and information.

For the month of April, total nonfarm payroll employment was down by 8.2 million jobs (or 5.4 percent) compared with February 2020, which was the last BLS jobs report not impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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