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US Adds Just 266K Jobs In April, Missing Expectations By 73%

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released employment data for the month of April, and the numbers were disappointing. Here’s a rundown of everything you need to know.

05/07/2021 09:21

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released employment data for the month of April, and the numbers were disappointing. Here’s a rundown of everything you need to know.

What You Need To Know About The Jobs Report: The nonfarm payroll number came in at +266,000, well worse than consensus economist expectations of +1 million.

The unemployment rate increased by 0.1% to 6.1%. Average hourly earnings were up 0.7% in the month to $30.17.

April’s job growth represents a sharp drop from the 770,000 jobs the economy gained in March.

The leisure and hospitality industry led the gains in April by adding 331,000 jobs, more than any other industry. The retail industry lost another 15,000 jobs in April and is now 400,000 jobs below its February 2020 level.

In addition to the disappointing April numbers, the Labor Department also revised its jobs growth estimates for the last two months. The Labor Department cut its March estimate by 146,000 jobs to +770,000 and increased its February estimate by 68,000 jobs to +536,000.

Related Link: Why Stocks Could Be 'Dead Money' For The Next Few Months

Market Reaction To The Jobs Report: Spencer Israel, co-host of Benzinga’s PreMarket Prep, said he believes the light jobs number could simply be an indication that U.S. workers aren’t willing to return to work at this point.

“We still have the extended COVID unemployment, right? So all you see everywhere is businesses having a hard time hiring. There aren’t enough workers to go around. But that’s what I think this is. I think it’s just people not going back to work,” Israel said.

Investors demonstrated a positive initial reaction to the jobs numbers, with the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE:SPY) trading up by 0.3% in pre-market trading.

Chris Zaccarelli, Chief Investment Officer for Independent Advisor Alliance, said the April jobs report will likely fuel the fire of political debate surrounding the nation's aggressive COVID-19 relief stimulus.

"There have been a lot of anecdotes of employers having a hard time finding workers – and some people have pointed out that robust, extended unemployment benefits create a perverse incentive not to look for work," Zaccarelli said.