Wait, the U.S. economy only added how many jobs?
May 7, 2021

Wait, the U.S. economy only added how many jobs?

Where are all the jobs that everyone was promising we'd see in the April report on hiring and unemployment out today? Expectations were that the U.S. economy added almost 1 million jobs. The data shows that number is actually 266,000. Plus, among the employers trying to replenish their workforces: public schools. How does an increasing return to hybrid and in-person learning affect the labor market when it comes to teachers and other staff?

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April was only OK for hiring in a surprise report from the government today

Only 266,000 people were added to nonfarm payrolls in April, as opposed to the estimates that were closer to 1 million. “You know, we economists joke that forecasting short-term employment is the most dangerous thing you can do,” said Christopher Low, chief economist at FHN Financial. People did get hired at restaurants, that happened as expected. So where’s the weakness? Well, companies usually add a lot of seasonal workers in April. “The biggest decline was in temporary employment agencies, they provide a ton of those seasonal workers,” Low said. “And this year, it looks like they just couldn’t find enough people.” Low thinks that means maybe the May number will show a more dramatic increase in hiring. Nonetheless, the average numbers from the last couple of months and beyond show that the economy is healing, it’s just not as fast as promised.

Schools gradually add back jobs, but teacher shortage may worsen

May 7, 2021
Younger teachers may also be more inclined to leave and even switch career paths entirely.
Because of remote learning and $190 billion in federal aid, there haven’t been massive teacher layoffs. But stress and burnout could push people from the field, one education researcher says.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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The team

Victoria Craig Host, BBC
Stephen Ryan Senior Producer, BBC
Jonathan Frewin Producer, BBC
Daniel Shin Producer
Jay Siebold Technical Director
Brian Allison Engineer
Meredith Garretson Morbey Senior Producer
Erika Soderstrom Producer
Rose Conlon Producer
Alex Schroeder Producer