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Jobs report: US added 266,000 jobs in April, shockingly short of expectations

Joe Biden has done his best to spin a shocking jobs report, with the US economy adding barely a quarter of the jobs experts predicted.

Experts in the United States have been shocked by a surprisingly weak jobs report, which President Joe Biden is spinning as a proof of the need for further stimulus.

His political opponents say the opposite: that a $US1.9 trillion COVID relief package Congress passed in March is incentivizing Americans to remain unemployed.

According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, the US economy added just 266,000 jobs in April, barely a quarter of the one million jobs forecast by economists.

The unemployment rate ticked up from 6 percent to 6.1. Economists had predicted it would fall to 5.8 percent. And on top of that, the March jobs numbers – initially reported as a gain of 916,000 jobs – got revised down to 770,000.

A year ago, towards the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the US lost 22 million jobs. It is still about eight million jobs short of returning to its pre-crisis employment level.

Today’s news caused a sharp fall in Treasury yields and the value of the US dollar. Meanwhile, the stock market rose to record levels, as the weak job numbers mean the Federal Reserve is now less likely to tighten its monetary policy.

Speaking at the White House, Mr. Biden said there was “a long way to go” in America’s economic recovery. “We knew this wouldn’t be a sprint. It would be a marathon,” the President said. “We never thought after the first 50-60 days, everything would be fine.”

He has actually been in office for more than 100 days at this point. Mr. Biden insisted the recovery was moving “more rapidly” than he expected and the US was heading in “the right direction”.

“Our actions are starting to work, but the climb is steep, and we still have a long way to go,” he said. “Today’s report just underscores, in my view, how vital the actions we’re taking are. We’re still digging out of an economic collapse.

Mr. Biden has proposed an additional $4 trillion in spending via the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan. “Let’s keep our eye on the ball,” he continued. “This month’s job numbers show we are on the right track. We still have a long way to go.”

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen echoed that argument, saying the April numbers represented “continued progress”. “I believe we will reach full employment next year, but today’s numbers show that we are not yet finished,” she said.

The counterargument from Republicans is that enhanced unemployment benefits included in March’s COVID relief package have led Americans to stay out of the jobs market.

Gemma Broadhurst
Gemma Broadhurst is a 23-year-old computing student who enjoys extreme ironing, hockey and duck herding. She is kind and entertaining, but can also be very standoffish and a bit evil.She is an Australian Christian. She is currently at college. studying computing. She is allergic to milk. She has a severe phobia of chickens

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