WASHINGTON — America’s employers added just 266,000 jobs last month, sharply lower than in March and a sign that some businesses are struggling to find enough workers as the economic recovery strengthens.
With cases of COVID-19 declining and states and localities easing restrictions, businesses have added jobs for four straight months. Still, the unemployment rate ticked up to 6.1% from 6% in March.
Despite the disappointing jobs report, optimism about the economic recovery is growing. Many Americans are flush with cash after having received $1,400 federal relief checks, along with savings they have built up after cutting back on travel, entertainment and dining out over the past year.
In remarks delivered on Friday afternoon, President Joe Biden said the April report underscored the importance of the provisions that were passed in the American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package passed in March, noting that the bill was designed to get the U.S. back on track economically within a year, "not over the course of 60 days."
He also refuted analysis that the enhanced unemployment benefits passed in that stimulus package are leading some Americans to chose not to work, leading to a labor shortage. He noted that there the U.S. economy has 8 million less jobs available than before the pandemic.
Biden also said that he personally believes that most working class Americans would like to be working.
"It's about people's pride, it's about being able to look in a child's eyes and tell them everything is going to be OK," Biden said.