Some Good News in April 2021 Job Numbers

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The unemployment rate didn’t budge much in April, according to just-released data from the Labor Department, but CEI labor policy expert Sean Higgins gleans some good news about economic recovery from the pandemic year.

Statement by Sean Higgins, CEI Research Fellow:

“The news in the Labor Department’s latest job numbers is much better than the  overall unemployment rate marginal increase from 6 percent to 6.1 percent would indicate. People are getting back to work thanks to loosening the restrictions put in place during the epidemic — a simpler, better solution than spending trillions more taxpayer dollars. 

“The overall unemployment number remained mostly static largely because of declines in ‘temporary help services and in couriers and messengers,’ indicating that people were dropping the short-term make-work jobs they used to ride out the outbreak and transitioning to better jobs.

“The number of workers employed part-time for economic reasons was 5.2 million in April, down by 583,000 from the previous month, meaning that employers have stopped cutting back on hours. 

“The number of people unable to work because their employer closed or lost business due to restrictions imposed during the outbreak was 9.4 million, down two million in one month. Similarly, the number who reported being prevented from looking for work due to the outbreak was 2.8 million, down 900,000 in a month. 

“Hospitality was one of the sectors with the most gains, indicating that more people are going to restaurants, theaters. and similar businesses. People are getting back to work and economic activity is picking up. We just need to let the economy heal itself.”