The number of non-farm workers in the United States rose by just 266,000 jobs, well below the nearly 1 million jobs economists had anticipated. This is in stark contrast to the steady growth from January to March.
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Washington: President Joe Biden responded Friday to a disappointing April job report by saying the US economy still had a “long way” to go before recovering from its pandemic and urged Washington to step up do to help the American people.
Employment growth in the US slowed unexpectedly last month, likely due to shortages of labor and raw materials. The number of non-agricultural employees rose by only 266,000 jobs and was thus well below the almost 1 million jobs that economists had expected. This is in stark contrast to the steady growth from January to March.
Biden and his team have stated that his $ 1.9 trillion pandemic relief package, the Democratic President’s first major legislative achievement, will help bring the economy back from its pandemic slump, and they are pushing for another 4 Trillions of dollars in new investments.
“In my opinion, today’s report only underlines the importance of the measures we have taken,” said Biden in his remarks in the White House. “Our efforts are starting to work. But the climb is steep and we still have a long way to go. “Stock indices still climbed to record highs despite the news as fewer investors feared the Federal Reserve would soon cut its massive stimulus package and bet that Biden’s investment plans would succeed.
The employment report highlighted an intractable political divide in Washington over government spending. Republicans and corporate groups blew up generous unemployment benefits in the relief package, claiming they would prevent low-wage Americans from returning to work. Critics reject the high price tag of Biden’s plans and warn that they could bring inflation.
Biden said he didn’t think government benefits would hinder returns to work, and his economists supported him.
“It is clear that there are people who are unwilling and unable to return to work,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told reporters, citing parents whose children are still learning from a distance. “I don’t think the addition to unemployment benefits is really the factor that makes a difference. Jared Bernstein, a member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, told Reuters that Biden’s COVID relief and inducement, known as the American Rescue Plan, helped create an average of more than half a million jobs a month, although April didn’t withstood.
“Those are big numbers, and the American rescue plan fingerprints are all over these supplements,” he said.
Bernstein and other officials said no course correction was required from the White House. However, the US Chamber of Commerce business lobby said the government should end the $ 300 weekly additional unemployment benefit to help alleviate labor shortages.
Some states, including Arkansas, Montana, and South Carolina, have made their own decision to end special federal unemployment payments for their residents and turned down the federal money in hopes that companies can find workers faster.