On Friday, disappointing job numbers for April were released. As America tries to recover from a global pandemic, only 266,000 jobs were created for the month of April.

As businesses began to open back up all over the country, experts had anticipated a much higher number, as many as one million jobs. This is the biggest miss in relation to expectations in decades. 

The unemployment rate rose slightly to 6.1%. That is also higher than the 5.8% that was predicted. Currently, there are 8.2 million fewer jobs than when the pandemic began in February 2020.

Higher number were expected due to not just the reopening of businesses, but more Americans receiving the COVID vaccine and multiple trillions of dollars in government stimulus spending.

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The Best And The Worst

The leisure and hospitality industry seemed to fare the best, adding roughly 331,000 workers – but the industry is still nearly 3 million workers short of where it was before the pandemic.

A category called “other services” also appeared to do well, hiring 44,000 new workers. This would encompass repair and maintenance jobs, personal and laundry services.

With the gradual reopening of the nation’s schools, public school districts added 31,000 jobs 

The biggest drops came in the professional and business services, which saw a drop of 111,000 temporary help jobs, and 15,000 support services jobs. 18,000 manufacturing jobs were lost.   

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Not So Much A Shortage Of Jobs But A Shortage Of Workers

So why aren’t American workers eager to go back to work? The answer could be in the messaging.

Fox Business notes that many employers are quick to blame the Biden administration’s unemployment benefits as the reason Americans are still at home. 

The Bank of America report said that Americans earning less than $32,000 prior to the pandemic are better off collecting unemployment than they are working.

This makes things even tougher if you own a business that has reopened. Some employers are desperate to hire.

Carlos Gazitua, president and CEO of Sergio’s restaurants in southern California definitely calls the shortage of available workers a “crisis.”

“We’ve increased wages. We have about three different staffing agencies that are constantly looking for people. Other restaurateurs are walking around neighborhoods passing out flyers. The heroes in our communities are the people currently working for you and me. These people are burnt out.”

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Reaction From Both Sides

Reaction to the April jobs report came from both Democrats and Republicans.

According to ABC, Democrats blame a lack of child care, schools being closed or only partially open, and general fear from the public about returning to a work environment.

In comments referring to recovery efforts from the 2008 economic recession, Biden has stated, “We have learned from past crises that the risk is not doing too much, the risk is not doing enough.”

Republicans are not buying it.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said, “We have flooded the zone with checks that I’m sure everybody loves to get, and also enhanced unemployment. And what I hear from businesspeople, hospitals, educators, everybody across the state all week is, regretfully, it’s actually more lucrative for many Kentuckians and Americans to not work than work.”

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) did not hold back. In a tweet he stated, “Why is anyone surprised that the jobs reports fell short of expectations? I told you weeks ago that in Florida I hear from small business everyday that they can’t hire people because the government is paying them to not go back to work.”

Other Republicans are taking action. 

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced that his state would once again require people to prove they are actively looking for work in order to continue receiving unemployment checks. 

“We absolutely can put more people to work,” DeSantis said. “The demand is there. Businesses want to hire more people, and I think we can go in that direction very soon.”

 

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