Unemployment Rate Ticked Up to 6.1% in April as Monthly Job Growth Slowed to 266K
How do you feel about the state of the job market?
This content leverages data from USAFacts, a non-profit that visualizes governmental data. You can learn more on its website, Facebook, and Twitter.
What’s the story?
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on Friday released its jobs report for April 2021, which found the U.S. economy added 266,000 jobs and the unemployment increased by 0.1 percentage points to 6.1%. The report falls short of the Dow Jones forecast of 1 million jobs added and a 5.8% unemployment rate.
- It’s the weakest jobs report since this January and comes after the economy added 536,000 jobs in February and 770,000 jobs in March. This USAFacts chart shows the monthly job numbers dating back to January 2020:
- This USAFacts chart shows the monthly unemployment rate dating back to 2007:
Jobs Report Sector Breakdown
- The BLS report observes:
“Notable job gains in leisure and hospitality, other services, and local government education were partially offset by employment declines in temporary help services and in couriers and messengers.”
- Leisure and hospitality added 331,000 jobs “as pandemic-related restrictions continued to ease in many parts of the country.” The industry is down 2.8 million jobs, or 16.8%, compared to its pre-pandemic level in February 2020. This USAFacts chart shows that restaurants and bars had 1.7 million fewer jobs in April compared to the pre-pandemic level:
- The other services industry added 44,000 jobs, driven largely by repair and maintenance (+14,000) and personal and laundry services (+14,000), which leaves the sector 352,000 jobs below its pre-pandemic level.
- Local government education added 31,000 jobs in April but is 611,000 jobs below its February 2020 level.
- Within the professional and business services sector, employment in temporary help declined by 111,000 last month and is 296,000 jobs below its pre-pandemic level.
- Within the transportation and warehousing industry, employment in couriers and messengers declined by 77,000 jobs last month but is up by 126,000 compared to February 2020.
- Manufacturing lost 18,000 jobs in April following gains of 89,000 in the prior two months, which leaves the sector with 515,000 jobs less than its pre-pandemic level.
Demographic Unemployment Information
- Unemployment rates were largely unchanged for adult men (up to 6.1% from 5.8% in March), adult women (down to 5.6% from 5.7% in March), and teenagers (to 12.3% from 13.0% in March).
- Unemployment rates had little to no change among whites (5.3% from 5.4% in March), blacks (9.7% from 9.6% in March), Hispanics (7.9% from 7.9% in March), and Asians (5.7% from 6.0% in March).
- This USAFacts chart shows the unemployment rate based on race and ethnicity dating back to early 2019:
Revisions & Data Notes
- Employment in February was revised up by 68,000 from +468,000 to +536,000.
- Employment in March was revised down by 146,000 from +916,000 to +770,000.
- As it has since March 2020, the BLS published an estimate of what the unemployment rate would have been had misclassified workers been included. The misclassification hinges on a question about the main reason people were absent from their jobs, with people absent due to temporary, pandemic-related closures recorded as absent due to “other reasons” as opposed to unemployed due to temporary layoff.
- Using this approach, the April unemployment rate would have been 0.3 percentage points higher than reported. The BLS notes that this represents the upper bound of their estimate of misclassification and probably overstates the size of the misclassification error.
- According to usual practice at the BLS, data is accepted as recorded in the household survey. To maintain data integrity, no ad hoc actions are taken to reclassify survey responses.
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: iStock.com / halbergman)
Lunchables Will Soon Be Sold in School CafeteriasWhat’s the story? Lunchables will be sold in school cafeterias starting this fall as the product is updated to comply with read more... Families
IT: 🚨 Trump expects to be arrested today, and... Do you think COVID originated in a raccoon dog?Welcome to Tuesday, March 21st, pillows and fuzzy blankets... Former President Donald Trump expects to be arrested today. Trump read more...
Wyoming Bans Abortion Pill, Texas Judge Considers Nationwide BanWyoming's decision The abortion pill, mifepristone, has been banned in Wyoming days before Texas judge Matthew Kacsmaryk is set read more... States
Abortion Pill TrackerTake Action On Abortion Pills Causes.com is your source for up-to-date information about abortion pills and efforts to ban or read more... Federal Agencies
I'm glad to hear there are so many job openings, but it's clear that we still have a worker shortage in many industries. Research has shown that enhanced unemployment compensation is NOT the cause in most cases, but employers need to do a better job of matching their jobs and skills to the actual worker pool. This has been a growing problem in an age of outsourcing, automation, and stronger emphasis on higher education. Employers, unions, the government, and educational institutions should all come together and determine how to better match needs with workers to fill these jobs and reduce unemployment. If all parties won't talk to each other, this problem will just get worse.
The job market is fine. Unemployment benefits are outrageously high and unmanaged!
Historically, the aftermath of pandemics has led to serious and potentially long-term dislocations in labor markets. Smaller disruptions of the market during the pandemic will likely lead to smaller impacts afterward.
Why should people go back to work when they can make as if not more by staying home.
Republicans keep saying that people won’t work because they are getting federal money and don’t have too. That’s not what this is about. Wages are what this is about. Giving people a living wage will get people back to work. Republicans think poor people are lazy. It’s despicable. Business should have to pay a living wage of at least $15 an hour for people to survive and be able to thrive. Stingy Republicans and businesses are hurting our country not poor Americans.
This is a good start! Getting more people to protect themselves and OTHERS will help open the economy more. Passing the infrastructure plan will provide a tremendous amount of good paying jobs. TOO BAD TRUMP FAILED ON HIS PROMISE TO IMPROVE ROADS AND BRIDGES! Both parties use them!
Stop giving money for people to stay home this is the root of the problem it was the root of all corona relief packages it is created a generation or a season of people who don’t wanna work take away the money give him a job at $600 made a difference imagine what a job at making their lives.
Every where I go, there are HELP WANTED signs, when you ask what the owner feels the problem is, it is that they cannot get people to come back to work when they are being compensated so highly WITHOUT providing proof that they are looking for a job. Dems should be ashamed how they have handled this!
I hope these jobs are living wage jobs.
Too early in recovery from pandemic to see job recovery gains.
It was bound to happen!! The job market is not an exact science
Why work when the government will pay for me to stay home right? Employers are hiring and no one is answering their call because our tax dollars are paying people to stay home. Thanks! It’s a honeymoon phase. What happens when you run out of working tax paying people’s money to hand out?
It is what I expected . Biden needs to put the pipeline workers back to work on the pipeline and the workers who were building the wall to keep the illegal immigrants out back to works and finish the wall. I have never seen any group so bound on revenge that they would destroy an entire country to get it!
The 266K new jobs was disappointing but not surprising. It points out the need for affordable child care and for reasonable wages that would attract more people. When I hear someone saying they cannot pay above the minimum wage, then I hear someone who either does not have a viable business and/or is too greedy to pay a living wage.
CAUSES ASKS: "How do you feel about the April jobs report?" ME: indifferent. In the first place, we still have a serious pandemic going on (hello!), we're FAR short of herd immunity and White GOP males don't want to get vaccinated; and then there are the 8-9 million jobs that were lost and may NOT ever be recovered quickly; not to mention the kind of jobs that ARE available; you know, the ones that don't pay enough to even cover the rent (America does have a serious wages versus housing problem). And we'll not talk about the troubles for women, particularly single moms, who if they want to work haven't affordable child care available. Actually, a "full recovery" may realistically take a few more years.
The April job report has everything to do with the rise in COVID19 cases in April. People don't want to go to work knowing that any of their co-workers could be a person that refuses to get vaccinated, especially if you're waiting for your second dose! Many employers are not willing to pay a "living wage" to their employees! Would you want to work 40 hours a week and still be very poor? Personally, I'm waiting to have work done in my home until COVID19 is totally under control! It could have been different if the GOP had chosen to take action to control COVID instead of spreading lies and refusing to get vaccinated!
When unemployment benefits run out, people will get jobs.
Employment is doing very well considering there are many women still at home taking care of their children. They need the help. We need everyone to get vaccinated to reach herd immunity for things to come back to some normalcy.
We weren't promised instant results but rather long-term recovery, which usually takes a sawtooth path. Keep your eyes on the prize and watch things trend positively as long as Republican obstinacy doesn't derail it.