U.S. employers hired far fewer workers than expected in April, likely frustrated by labor shortages, leaving them scrambling to met booming demand as the economy reopens amid rapidly improving public health and massive financial help from the government.
Nonfarm payrolls increased by only 266,000 jobs last month after rising by 770,000 in March, the Labor Department said in its closely watched employment report on Friday (May 7).
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast payrolls advancing by 978,000 jobs.
Twelve months ago, the economy purged a record 20.679 million jobs as it reeled from mandatory closures of nonessential businesses to slow the first wave of COVID-19 infections.
New claims for unemployment benefits have dropped below 500,000 for the first-time since the pandemic started.
Futures tracking the Nasdaq jumped more than 1% on Friday as mega-cap growth stocks rallied after a downbeat jobs report eased valuation concerns and worries about the U.S. Federal Reserve reducing its massive stimulus program anytime soon.
(Production: Aleksandra Michalska)