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U.S. adds just 266,000 jobs in April, far below expectations

The U.S. economy added 266,000 jobs last month — way short of the nearly 1 million jobs economists were expecting. The unemployment rate ticked higher to 6.1%.

Why it matters: It points to disappointing progress for the labor market's recovery, even as the economy makes strides toward a full reopening. The number of jobs added in March was also revised downward from 916,000 to 770,000.


  • The gain in jobs in April was barely enough to keep up with population growth, let alone to recover from the pandemic’s layoffs.
  • Economists were hoping for a figure roughly 1 million jobs larger — making this the biggest miss, relative to expectations, in the history of the payrolls report.

This story is breaking news and will be updated.

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