The U.S. economy added a little more than 260,000 jobs in April, the Labor Department said Friday in its monthly workforce assessment — a figure that missed economists’ projections by a wide margin.
The department said 266,000 jobs were added for the month and the unemployment rate was little changed at 6.1%.
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%.
Friday’s report also revised down March’s job growth from 916,000 to 770,000.
The domestic economy was projected to grow by 10% or more in April, which is typically one of the peak months for growth.
Most economists said before the report that they also expected to see more than 1 million new jobs in each of the next few months as more Americans are vaccinated against COVID-19 and return to the workforce.
ADP and Moody’s Analytics reported in their private assessment Wednesday about 740,000 new jobs in April.
President Joe Biden is scheduled to speak about Friday’s jobs report at the White House at 11:30 a.m. EDT and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will give remarks at a separate briefing at 12:30 p.m.
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The U.S. economy still has a lot of ground to make up to return to prepandemic labor levels. There were about 8.4 million fewer jobs in March than in the pre-COVID-19 levels before February 2020.
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