The U.S. economy gained slightly more than 260,000 jobs in April, according to the Labor Department’s monthly employment assessment, a number that fell well short of economists’ expectations.
According to the department, 266,000 employees were added in the month, and the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.1 percent.
The figure wasn’t even close to experts’ predictions. Most analysts expected the report to show between 970,000 and 1 million new jobs for the month and the unemployment rate to dip below 6%.
The study on Friday also reduced March’s employment growth from 916,000 to 770,000.
President Joe Biden said on Friday that he thinks the economy is improving, but that “it is clear we have a long way to go.”
In remarks from the East Room of the White House, Biden noted that the United States is still digging out of an “economic collapse” that cost more than 22 million jobs.
He said that his American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package that supported many Americans with $1,400 stimulus payments, is effective. However, some of the package’s provisions are also in the works.
“We are moving more rapidly than I thought we would,” he said.
Biden stated that the economy had gained 1.5 million new jobs since he assumed office in January, and that the jobs generated in his first three months were more than any previous presidency’s first three months.
Prior to the report, most economists predicted that more than 1 million new jobs would be created in each of the next few months as more Americans were immunised against COVID-19 and returned to work.
In a private assessment released Wednesday, ADP and Moody’s Analytics estimated that 740,000 new jobs were created in April.
The United States’ economy also has a long way to go before it can recover to pre-pandemic labour levels. There were about 8.4 million fewer workers in March than there were prior to COVID-19 until February 2020.