The figures are out.
Looks like all predictions were a bit off this time around.
The new unemployment report for April is out, and the takeaway number didn’t come close to meeting expectations. Details:
- The number: Employers added 266,000 jobs in the month, even though analysts had expected roughly 1 million, reports CNBC. The outlet characterizes the figure as a “huge letdown.” What’s more, the March increase of 916,000 was revised downward to 770,000.
- The rate: The unemployment rate rose from 6% to 6.1%. Though a disappointment, that’s down from a record-high 14.8% last April, notes the Wall Street Journal.
- 2 reasons: The AP sees the disappointing hiring figure as a sign that employers are struggling to find people to fill openings. Supply-chain problems also may be limiting what businesses can do, per the Journal.
- Bright spot: The leisure and hospitality industry saw the biggest gain with 331,000 new hires, though that still leaves the industry 2.9 million jobs short of pre-pandemic levels. Those gains were offset by losses in other sectors, including manufacturing, retail, and temping in general.
- A blip? At MarketWatch, Jeffry Bartash suggests that the April figures will likely end up being a “temporary blip” in the recovery. “Falling coronavirus cases and massive federal stimulus have turbocharged the economy and job openings have surged,” he writes. The US remains poised “for a summer of strong growth.”
These figures are not good….but why is this?
Maybe it is because the unemployment benefits are too generous? (This is a GOP talking point)……
The new monthly jobs report came in way below expectations on Friday, with employers hiring 266,000 people in April instead of the 1 million or so expected by analysts. The report has reignited a familiar political debate amid the pandemic, with those on the right arguing that President Biden’s relief package is so generous that it encourages people to stay home instead of getting a job. Defenders of the aid, however, say it’s not that simple. Coverage:
- Chamber’s view: The US Chamber of Commerce on Friday came out firing after the unemployment report, reports CNBC. “The disappointing jobs report makes it clear that paying people not to work is dampening what should be a stronger jobs market,” it says. The chamber urged lawmakers to end “the weekly $300 weekly supplemental unemployment benefit,” asserting that 25% of those receiving it are making more money than they did when working.
- Not so fast: The argument that extra benefits encourages people to stay home has been circulating for a while, and last month in the Los Angeles Times, business columnist Michael Hiltzik argued that it doesn’t hold water. “Economists have consistently debunked the idea that unemployment insurance benefits suppress job searching,” he writes. Those who say otherwise are citing anecdotes, not data, he adds.
- Other factors: Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal dug into the issue of employers struggling to find workers, and the story cited a number of factors based on surveys. For one thing, people are afraid of getting COVID, especially in high-traffic places such as bars and restaurants; others cite child-care issues, because businesses are opening faster than schools.
- One example: But the story notes that the extra unemployment benefits appear to be playing a role as well. The story quotes a concert promoter who wants to return to work in his own field and is avoiding taking other jobs because his $750 in weekly benefits makes that possible. “I really enjoyed what I did,” he says. “If the government is going to pay you to stay home, you’re going to do that unless that job you really want comes along.”
- Biden vs. McCarthy: Expect the issue to intensify. Biden himself defended his rescue package on Friday in the wake of the jobs report, notes the Hill. “Help is here and more help is on the way and more help is needed,” he said. In contrast is this tweet from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. “Today’s jobs report is a disappointment—just like President Biden’s plan to burden families with more taxes & more debt,” he wrote. “While Dems trap people in a cycle of fear & pay them NOT to work, it’s clear the best thing to do is end the crisis-era policies & get Americans back to work.”
- Eye on the states: States may make their own moves. Montana, for example, plans to start offering bonuses to people who return to work, reports KRTV. It also plans to opt out early of the federal program that provides extra benefits—by the end of next month instead of September.
The arguments against the benefits are just outright BS…..has anyone tried living on $300 a week?
Personally I would listen to nothing the Chamber has to say….why?
They support all the voter suppression initiatives….for me that makes them the enemy…..and no one that I would consider reliable source.
So far most of the ‘owners’ of business that have a personnel problem and those that notoriously pay lower wages.
Think about this…the jobs that no one wants are the lower paid jobs…..why return to work for $200 a week when you can stay home and make $300?
I think this is a prime example that the minimum wage needs raising and quickly.
People would return to work if they were paid a living wage.
So stop bitching and do something about it!
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