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Capital Calls: America adds fewer jobs than anticipated

2 minute read

An employee scans packages at Amazon's JFK8 distribution center in Staten Island, New York, U.S. November 25, 2020.

NEW YORK, May 7 (Reuters Breakingviews) - Concise insights on global finance.

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JOBS PAUSE. The U.S. economy added only 266,000 jobs in April, the Labor Department said on Friday. That fell far short of economists’ projected increase read more of 978,000 jobs, according to a Reuters survey. It’s a big miss, but probably just a blip.

It isn’t easy to forecast anything about the pandemic, which brought one of the sharpest economic slowdowns on record and more recently a very rapid pickup in activity. The direction remains positive, whether measured in employment, GDP, confidence or almost anything else.

Anecdotally, some employers are finding it hard to fill jobs – at least at the wages they want to pay – for reasons including extra unemployment benefits enacted to help Americans through Covid-19. These expire in September. Statistical one-offs could be at work, too. So could the genuine challenges of a recovery, which include getting as many groups in society back to where they were before in terms of employment, a focus of Federal Reserve Chair Jay Powell. His work isn’t over yet. (By Richard Beales)

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Earlier in Capital Calls:

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Rapid grocery delivery startup GoPuff goes British read more

Activist exits Barclays with tail between legs read more

Macau improves odds for Chinese consumers read more

KKR puts employees in deal terms read more

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