New York

7/05/2021 – 14:39

Total non-farm payrolls increased by 266,000 jobs in April in the United States while the unemployment rate did not vary much, rising one tenth to 6.1%, the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Economists had projected a creation of nearly a million jobs last month.

The notable increases in employment in the leisure and hospitality sector as well as in other services and in education were partially offset by the decrease in employment in temporary help services and in courier services. Revisions to the February and March figures resulted in 78,000 fewer jobs than previously anticipated.

Both the unemployment rate, 6.1%, and the number of unemployed, 9.8 million, barely changed in April. Both are down considerably from their peak a year ago but remain well above pre-coronavirus pandemic levels.

It should be remembered that in the first months of the coronavirus pandemic, the US economy collapsed at the fastest rate in history. In a period of just two months, the unemployment rate soared from 3.5% in February 2020 to 14.7% in April – its highest level since 1940.

Last month, the labor force participation rate barely changed, standing at 61.7% in April and is 1.6 percentage points less than in February 2020. The employment-population ratio also changed little in April, standing at 57.9% but has risen 0.5 percentage points since December 2020.

For its part, non-agricultural employment remained 5.4% below the levels registered before the pandemic hit, that is, at least around 8.2 million payrolls would need to be created to recover them again.

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