2021Jobs Report
Jobs Report

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

Total nonfarm employment in the United States rose by 266,000 jobs and the unemployment rate edged up to 6.1 percent in April 2021 as the labor market continued to reflect the ongoing recovery from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, according to the monthly jobs report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The jobs report for April 2021 revealed that nonfarm employment is still down by 8.2 million jobs, or 5.4 percent, from its pre-pandemic level in February 2020. The number of unemployed persons was 9.8 million in April 2021 and remained well above the 5.7 unemployed million persons in February 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Leisure and hospitality employment increased by 331,000 jobs in April 2021 but is down by 2.8 million jobs since February 2020.
  • Other services industry employment increased by 44,000 in April 2021 but is down by 352,000 jobs since February 2020.
  • Local government education employment rose by 31,000 jobs in April 2021 but is down 611,000 jobs lower than in February 2020.
  • Social assistance employment added 23,000 jobs in April 2021 but is 286,000 jobs lower than in February 2020.
  • Financial activities employment added 19,000 jobs in April 2021 but has 63,000 fewer jobs than in February 2020.
  • Temporary help services within professional and business services employment declined by 111,000 jobs in April 2021 and is 296,000 jobs lower than in February 2020.
  • Couriers and messengers within transportation and warehousing employment fell by 77,000 jobs in April but is up by 126,000 jobs since February 2020.
  • Manufacturing employment lost 18,000 jobs in April 2021 and is 515,000 jobs lower than in February 2020.
  • Retail trade employment lost 15,000 jobs in April 2021 and is 400,000 jobs below its February 2020 level.
  • Health care and information employment lost 4,000 jobs in April 2021 and is down by 542,000 jobs since February 2020.
  • Construction employment was unchanged over the month but is 196,000 jobs below its February 2020 level.
  • Employment changed little in other major industries, including mining, wholesale trade, and information in April 2021.

The jobs report showed the change in employment for February 2021 was revised from 468,000 jobs added to 536,000 jobs added, while March 2021 was revised from 916,000 jobs added to 770,000 jobs added. With these revisions, gains in February 2021 and March 2021 were 78,000 jobs lower than previously reported.

As in previous months, some workers affected by the pandemic who should have been classified as unemployed on temporary layoff were instead misclassified as employed but not at work. However, the share of
misclassified responses was highest in the early months of the pandemic and has been lower in recent months.

Since March 2020, the BLS has published an estimate of what the unemployment rate might have been had misclassified workers been included among the unemployed. Repeating this same approach, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in April 2021 would have been 0.3 percentage point higher than reported.

The jobs report is usually released on the first Friday of every month at www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm. The jobs report for May 2021 will be released on Friday, June 4, 2021. More information about the April 2021 jobs report is at www.bls.gov/covid19/employment-situation-covid19-faq-april-2021.htm.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a deadly respiratory illness that spreads from person to person. As of May 7, 2021, there are more than 156 million global cases and 3.2 million global deaths, while the United States leads the world with more than 32 million cases and 580,000 deaths, according to research from Johns Hopkins University.

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