April Jobs Report Flags Economic Concerns for Biden Ahead of Election

The Labor Department released the April jobs report, and it’s not good news for President Joe Biden’s economy. After a few months of pretty good news, the latest data shows that the labor market might be slowing down. That could be good for U.S. inflation (if it continues), but a weaker jobs market isn’t likely to help Biden’s chances of getting re-elected in November.

The report says that total nonfarm payroll employment went up by 175,000 in April, and the unemployment rate didn’t change much at 3.9 percent. Job gains happened in health care, social assistance, and transportation and warehousing.

The Biden administration might say that the change in the unemployment rate was “small,” but it went up from 3.8 percent in March.

In April, the economy only added 175,000 jobs after the numbers were “adjusted” for the time of year, which was a lot lower than March’s 300,000 job gains. It was also lower than what economists thought would happen.

Wages went up more slowly in April, too, increasing by 3.9 percent over last year, compared to 4.1 percent in March.

Some experts think that the weaker jobs report means the labor market might be cooling in a good way, but others say it could be a sign of bigger problems under the pressure of higher interest rates.

Stock futures went up after the Labor Department report came out, which might mean that investors think inflation will get under control because of a slower labor market. But the report said labor trends can change really quickly, especially since the demand for workers has already gone down.

The guy in charge of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, said last Wednesday that even though inflation rates are higher, he doesn’t plan to lower interest rates right away. But he also said that if the jobs market gets worse, the Fed might cut rates. He also said it’s not likely that rates will go up soon.

A guy who works at E*Trade said the bad jobs report could mean the Fed will be able to cut rates at least once this year.

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Written by Staff Reports

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