US Jobs Growth Much Weaker in April Than Expected, March Numbers Revised Lower

The US in April added only 266K non-farm payrolls jobs less than forecasted 1.005,000 new jobs, March prev 918k was rrevised to 708k. The unemployment rate rose to 6.1%. Misses were in private payrolls +218K vs +933K expected and manufacturing payrolls -18K vs +54K expected

The US in April added only 266K non-farm payrolls jobs less than forecasted 1.005,000 new jobs, March prev 918k was rrevised to 708k. The unemployment rate rose to 6.1%. Misses were in private payrolls +218K vs +933K expected and manufacturing payrolls -18K vs +54K expected


April 2021 U.S. Employment Report

The Covid-19 virus has wreaked havoc on the global economy. The world’s economy was shut down and much of America has stay at home orders. Jobless claims numbers have been records and unfortunately the story is much worse as people have not all been able to return to work.

The May through November reports however were a surprise gain in jobs. The expectation had been for more recovery in job losses for December until new lockdowns came into affect and we saw a loss of 140,000 jobs. We rebounded Jan somewhat with 49,000 new jobs and an upwardly revised 468K in February. The US economy added 916K jobs in March of 2021, the strongest employment growth in 7 months, with the largest gains occurring in leisure and hospitality, public and private education, and construction. However the March number was revised lower in April to 770k from 916k

US Jobs April 2021 

The market had expected the Aril report released Friday to show nonfarm payrolls rise 1,005,000 new jobs which it missed handidly with just 266,000 new jobs with a sputtering economy.  The volatile numbers point up how difficult estimating the jobs situation is amid an economy struggling to get back to normal following the coronavirus-inducted shutdown. The national unemployment rate had come off a 50 year low 3.5% with higher participation before the Covid-19 lockdown now to 7.9%.


April 2021 US Employment Report & Expectations


  • Non-farm payrolls  +266,000 vs +1,005,000 expected, Prior +916,000 (revised to 770,000)
  • Unemployment rate  6.1% v 5.8% expected prior 6.0%
  • Participation rate 61.7% vs 61.6% exp 61.5% prior (63.3% highest since 2014)
  • Underemployment rate  10.4% vs 10.8% Exp 10.7% prior
  • Two month net revision  -78 Prior +158 -159 k +11k +15k, +145k
  • Manufacturing payrolls -18k vs +54k exp prior +53k
  • Private payrolls  +218 vs +933 exp  prior +780
  • Long-term unemployed 4.2m vs 4.2m prior
  • The employment-population ratio  57.9% vs 57.8% prior



  • Average hourly earnings 0.7% m/m v  0.1% Expected  m/m Prior -0.1%
  • Average hourly earnings 0.3% y/y v 4.3% Prior 4.2% Expected
  • Average weekly hours  35.0 v 34.9 Expected/Prior”

In March US saw first decrease in average hourly #earnings since June last year despite the big gain in jobs for all employees on US private nonfarm payrolls – Average hourly earnings fell 4 cents to $29.96 or -0.1% m/m v 0.1% Expected +0.3% m/m Prior


Household Survey Data


Household Survey Supplemental Data



March 2021 ADP U.S. Employment Report

 The ADP estimate, done in conjunction with Moody’s Analytics, has varied widely from the government’s official nonfarm payrolls report, particularly during the pandemic. 

Private businesses in the US hired 517K workers in March of 2021, compared to market forecasts of 550K. It is the highest increase in private payrolls in 6 months.

United States ADP Employment Change

The service-providing sector created 437K jobs led by leisure and hospitality (169K); trade, transportation & utilities (92K); professional and business (83K); education and health (68K); other services (22K); and financial activities (9K) while the information sector lost 7K jobs.

The goods-producing sector rebounded and added 80K jobs, due to manufacturing (49K) and construction (32K) while natural resources and mining shed 1K jobs. Private payrolls in midsized companies were up by 188K, small firms by 174K and large companies by 155K.

Source: Automatic Data Processing, Inc

Jobless Claims for the week ending March 27 2021

  • The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose to 719 thousand in the week ended March 27th, from last week’s 658 thousand and above market expectations of 680 thousand.
  • Claims remained close to their lowest level in a year, as more businesses reopened thanks to the vaccine rollout programme and the government’s massive $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package.
  • The 4-week moving average, which removes week-to-week volatility, declined also to 719 thousand, the lowest since March 2020.
  • On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, initial claims were up to 714 thousand, from 651 thousand in the previous week, led by larger increases in the states of Virginia, Georgia and Kentucky.

United States Initial Jobless Claims

  • The number of Americans applying for help from the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance scheme, which covers workers that do not qualify for initial claims, fell to 237 thousand in the week ended March 27th, from the previous week’s revised level of 241 thousand.

United States Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Claims

Challenger, Gray & Christmas March Job Cuts Report

  • US March Challenger layoffs 30,603 vs 34,351 prior
  • Job cuts announced by US-based companies tumbled 86 percent year-on-year to a 33-month low of 30,603 in March 2021, from the 222,288 job cuts announced in the same month last year, when first wave of layoffs occurred due to the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns.
  • March’s total was also 11 percent lower than the 34,531 cuts announced in February.
  • Job cuts were led by companies in the aerospace/defense industry, which has announced 31,073 cuts in March, followed by telecommunications with 24,157 cuts and retail with 11,932 cuts.
  • Through the first quarter, 144,686 job cuts have been announced, 58 percent lower than the 346,683 announced in the first quarter of 2020.
  • Source: Challenger, Gray and Christmas, Inc.

United States Challenger Job Cuts


Source: AFP, Challenger, DOL, TradersCommunity Data, BLS


Source: AFP, Challenger, DOL, TradersCommunity Data, BLS

From The TraderCommunity Research Desk

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