Dow Jones and some economists estimated the US would add 1 million new jobs and an the unemployment rate would fall to 5.8%; but…that didn’t happen. The US only added 266K jobs and the unemployment rate ticked up to 6.1% from 6% in March. March’s numbers were ‘revised down from 916,000 to 770,000, though February saw an upward revision to 536,000 from 468,000.’
“I think this is just as much about a shortage in labor supply as it is about a shortage of labor demand,” said Jason Furman, an economist at Harvard University and a former Obama administration advisor. “If you look at April, it appears that there were about 1.1 unemployed workers for every job opening. So there are a lot of jobs out there, there is just still not a lot of labor supply.”
Some businesses have increased wages just to get people onboard but some people “have entered new occupations rather than return to their old jobs. And many women, especially working mothers, have had to leave the workforce to care for children.“
Most of the hiring so far represents a bounce-back after tens of millions of positions were lost when the pandemic flattened the economy 14 months ago. The economy remains more than 8 million jobs short of its pre-pandemic level.