'Wait Wut': Economists React To April's Jobs Report On Twitter
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 266,000 jobs in April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.
The unemployment rate increased to 6.1%.
Following increases of 770,000 jobs in March and 536,000 jobs in February, employment increased by only 266,000 jobs in April, falling far short of expectations that more than 1 million jobs would be added.
Notable job gains in April were found in the leisure and hospitality sector, which added 331,000 jobs, more than half of which were at food services and drinking places. While the leisure and hospitality sector has added 5.4 million jobs in the past year, employment in this industry is still down by 2.8 million jobs since last February.
Construction industry employment was unchanged in April. Employment in the construction industry is up by 917,000 jobs over the year but is still 196,000 jobs below its February 2020 level.
Here's how economists and others reacted to April's jobs report on Twitter.
WHOA!!! Employment only up by 266,000 jobs?!— Nick Bunker (@nick_bunker) May 7, 2021
what— Daniel Zhao (@DanielBZhao) May 7, 2021
wait wut— Neil Irwin (@Neil_Irwin) May 7, 2021
And the inflation fears go ... poof.— Adam Davidson (@adamdavidson) May 7, 2021
Labor force grew by 430k — at first glance, this does not look like a "labor shortage" story.— Ben Casselman (@bencasselman) May 7, 2021
BREAKING: US economy added 266,000 jobs in April, a slowdown from March and much less than the 1 million expected.— Heather Long (@byHeatherLong) May 7, 2021
US unemployment rate = 6.1%
**Overall, the US has gained back 63% of jobs lost in the pandemic. There are still 8.3 million jobs to go**
U.S. payrolls grew by +266k, which would be fabulous in normal times, but is utterly disappointing at a moment in which forecasters expected +1 million jobs, and we’re still missing millions of pre-pandemic jobs.— Justin Wolfers (@JustinWolfers) May 7, 2021
This is a big miss that changes how we think about the recovery.
Expectations were for a million plus new people to go back to work in April. That follows the American vaccine/recovery boom narrative ...— Shawn Donnan (@sdonnan) May 7, 2021
The 266k number points to an alternative: The “it’s going to be a grind” narrative.
@BLS_gov reports those unemployed fewer than 5 weeks grew by 237,000, another sign of layoffs being an issue. Labor force participation remained about flat at 61.7% So this data shows the labor market is still sluggish and reports of labor shortages exaggerated. @AFLCIO— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) May 7, 2021
Circling back. Industry composition of job change is interesting.— Aaron Sojourner (@aaronsojourner) May 7, 2021
Job growth in leisure & hospitality ACCELERATED sharply in April (+366K) above March's strong growth (+206K).
Food services & drinking places:
Many restaurants are successfully hiring
Regardless, the slowdown in today's #jobsreport is going to be interpreted as being caused by these labor shortage stories. So we may see more states follow Montana & South Carolina in prematurely withdrawing from the federal unemployment benefit programs.#jobsday 4/— Daniel Zhao (@DanielBZhao) May 7, 2021
Fewer jobs were added than expected, but the composition of job gains doesn't scream supply constraints as the problem.— Nick Bunker (@nick_bunker) May 7, 2021
Gains were strongest in lower-wage industries and low work-from-home industries. https://t.co/S7U4kcDxMb
#jobsday manufacturing lost 18k jobs, biggest factor is drop in 27k decline in auto production due to chip shortage— Dean Baker (@DeanBaker13) May 7, 2021
Remnants of the "She-cession" linger, mostly because of supply-side inertia (what has changed at home in one's life). It gets harder to get back into the labor market once you've been out of it for a long time, even if the demand for your market work is still there. #JobsReport https://t.co/wNysgyv1MM— Diane Lim (@economistmom) May 7, 2021
In related news, fewer people were WFH due to the pandemic in April than previous months. pic.twitter.com/wk1ERgr6KB— Jed Kolko (@JedKolko) May 7, 2021
People continually seem surprised by these stalled numbers, but we shouldn't be. Why? (1) There is still a virus running around in communities & ... safety, (2) People have dependent kids and nowhere to safely drop them while they go to work.— Misty Heggeness (@m_heggeness) May 7, 2021
People: do not be alarmed that we "only" gained 266K jobs in April, not the 1 million expected. Remember, we came from an economy nearly totally shut down. It will take some time to get back going again. #JobsReport https://t.co/3FH8S1EFoO— Diane Lim (@economistmom) May 7, 2021
The predictions of 1 million+ job growth basically reflected a view that we were going to flip a switch and the economy was going to turn back on.— Binyamin Appelbaum (@BCAppelbaum) May 7, 2021
Looks like it's going to be messier than that.
This one simple trick can turbo charge the recovery: Get vaxxed, get your friends to join you, make the marketplace safe, and watch people return.— Justin Wolfers (@JustinWolfers) May 7, 2021