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Hiring Falls Well Below Expectations as April Jobs Report Shows 266,000 New Positions Added

  • Department of Labor data show 266,000 new jobs added in April, sharply below projected numbers
  • Leisure and hospitality sector shows the strongest gains
  • Employers continue to struggle to fill available job openings

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

The jobs report for April fell well short of expectations, reflecting challenges employers are facing in filling job openings. Just 266,000 new nonfarm jobs were added to the United States economy in April, down sharply from previous months and much lower than Dow Jones estimates that nearly 1 million jobs would be added.

Key findings of the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics include:

  • Total number of jobs is down 8.2 million, or 5.4 percent, compared to pre-pandemic levels
  • Unemployment rate increases slightly from 6 percent to 6.1 percent, with 9.8 million people out of work
  • Leisure and hospitality sector gains 331,000 jobs from the previous one, including 187,000 in food service and drinking establishments
  • Other significant gains include an increase in 44,000 positions in other services and 31,000 positions in local government education
  • Temporary help services down 111,000, couriers and messengers down by 77,000 positions
  • Jobs in manufacturing and retail experience smaller declines following recent gains
  • Average hourly earnings increase 21 cents to $30.17, likely reflecting an upward pressure on wages as employers seek to fill positions
  • Economists suggest employer challenges in finding workers may be due to fears of COVID-19 infection, child care responsibilities, generous unemployment benefits, lack of necessary skills, or dissatisfaction with the pay and benefits offered

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