The U.S. added 266,000 jobs in April, falling well below expectations for a gain of 1 million. The miss could allay concerns that an overheating economy will lead to inflation.
The unemployment rate edged up to 6.1% from 6%.
The shortfall came despite increased vaccination rates and is bound to tap the brakes on the sentiment that the labor market is improving. With less fear about the economy overheating and interest rates rising, investors may continue to put money into speculative assets like bitcoin.
The April numbers follow the previous month's jobs report that stated that 916,000 jobs were added in March.
The labor force participation rate – the percentage of the American population that is either working or actively looking for work – ticked up slightly to 61.7% from 61.5% in March.
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