Confidence Remains High Despite Low April 2021 Jobs Report

05/10/2021

April’s jobs report fell short of expectations, with 266,000 jobs added for the month and a slight increase in unemployment to 6.1%. Previous job reports were also revised: March numbers declined from 916,000 to 770,000 while February revised up from 68,000 to 536,000. The April report was unexpected, as vaccinations have increased across the country and more businesses have opened up. However, the numbers do not signify a shortage in the number of jobs available; rather, they are more a sign of a labor shortage.

While some believe unemployment benefits are discouraging people from working, economists have found little evidence to support that claim. According to the New York Times, millions of Americans have said health concerns and child care responsibilities have kept them from taking a job. Others are on temporary layoff and are not actively job hunting because they expect to be hired back once businesses reopen fully.

Experts don’t believe this report should be a cause for concern and point to a number of factors. The labor participation rate did increase slightly this month, suggesting more individuals are back looking for work. More schools are reopening for in-person learning, allowing for more parents to return to the workforce. And according to USA Today, job growth is still expected to boom in the coming months. Oxford Economics believes a record 8 million or so jobs will be added this year.

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Jobs report data is sourced from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and can be found in their latest report.