• By The Financial District

U.S. JOB GROWTH SLOWS DOWN AS BUSINESSES SEARCH FOR WORKERS

The recovery of America’s job market hit a pause last month as many businesses — from restaurants and hotels to factories and construction companies — struggled to find enough workers to catch up with a rapidly strengthening economic rebound, Christopher Rugaber reported for the Associated Press (AP).

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Employers added just 266,000 jobs in April, sharply lower than in March and far fewer than economists had expected. With viral cases declining and states and localities easing restrictions, the recovery from the pandemic recession has been so fast that many businesses have been caught flat-footed in the face of surging consumer demand.


Last month’s hiring slowdown appears to reflect a host of factors. Nearly 3 million people are reluctant to look for work because they fear catching the virus, according to government surveys.


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More women also dropped out of the workforce last month, likely to care for children, after many had returned in the previous two months.


In addition, construction companies and manufacturers, especially automakers, have been left short of parts because of clogged supply chains and have had to slow production for now. Both sectors pulled back on hiring in April.


And some businesses say they believe that a $300-a-week jobless benefit, paid for by the federal government, is discouraging some of the unemployed from taking new jobs.


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Still, companies have added jobs for four straight months, the Labor Department said Friday, though the government lowered its estimate of job growth for February and March by a combined 78,000.


April’s total is far below March’s gain of 770,000. The resumption of hiring has encouraged some Americans to start looking for jobs, which means they are newly counted as unemployed if they don’t immediately find work. This is what happened in April, when the unemployment rate ticked up from 6% to 6.1%.



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Happyornot makes feedback terminals measuring customer satisfaction sing smiley-face buttons.
Happyornot makes feedback terminals measuring customer satisfaction sing smiley-face buttons.