The U.S. economy gained a disappointing 266,000 jobs last month, despite widespread forecasts that predicted a number that would top 1 million, according to the latest monthly employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The unemployment rate rose from 6 percent to 6.1 percent, contrary to expectations but still down from a historic peak of 14.8 percent last April, the highest level since the Great Depression.
The highly anticipated monthly jobs report was expected to show strong payroll growth, with some analysts even predicting job gains beyond the 2 million mark, after widespread vaccinations spurred Americans to dine out, take vacations, and venture out to stores after months of restrictive measures.
“This might be one of the most disappointing jobs reports of all time,” said Nick Bunker, economic research director at Indeed Hiring Lab. “The labor market needs to gain 8.2 million jobs to put us back where we were pre-pandemic, not accounting for the jobs that would have been created if the pandemic never happened. Every month job gains don’t accelerate puts us further behind.”