May 08, 2021
 
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Caledonia, MI 49316
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Caledonia, MI 49316
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Caledonia, MI 49316
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Lake Odessa, MI 48849
9260 Eaton Hwy
Lake Odessa, MI 48849
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US Adds Just 266,000 Jobs     05/07 08:16

   America's employers added just 266,000 jobs last month, sharply lower than 
in March and a sign that some businesses are struggling to find enough workers 
as the economic recovery strengthens.

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- America's employers added just 266,000 jobs last month, 
sharply lower than in March and a sign that some businesses are struggling to 
find enough workers as the economic recovery strengthens.

   With viral cases declining and states and localities easing restrictions, 
businesses have added jobs for four straight months, the Labor Department said 
Friday. Still, the unemployment rate ticked up to 6.1% from 6% in March.

   At the same time, optimism about the economic recovery is growing. Many 
Americans are flush with cash after having received $1,400 federal relief 
checks, along with savings they have built up after cutting back on travel, 
entertainment and dining out over the past year. Millions of consumers have 
begun spending their extra cash on restaurant meals, airline tickets, road 
trips and new cars and homes.

   Most economists expect job growth to strengthen as more vaccinations are 
administered and trillions in government aid spreads through the economy. Even 
if another uptick in COVID-19 cases were to occur, analysts don't expect most 
states and cities to reimpose tough business restrictions. Oxford Economics, a 
consulting firm, predicts that a total of 8 million jobs will be added this 
year, reducing the unemployment rate to a low 4.3% by year's end.

   Still, the economic rebound has been so fast that many businesses, 
particularly in the hard-hit hospitality sector -- which includes restaurants, 
bars and hotels -- have been caught flat-footed and unable to fill all their 
job openings. Some unemployed people have also been reluctant to look for work 
because they fear catching the virus.

   Others have entered new occupations rather than return to their old jobs. 
And many women, especially working mothers, have had to leave the workforce to 
care for children.

   Most of the hiring so far represents a bounce-back after tens of millions of 
positions were lost when the pandemic flattened the economy 14 months ago. The 
economy remains more than 8 million jobs short of its pre-pandemic level.

   The Biden administration's $1.9 trillion rescue package, approved in early 
March, has helped maintain Americans' incomes and purchasing power, much more 
so than in previous recessions. The economy expanded at a vigorous 6.4% annual 
rate in the first three months of the year. That pace could accelerate to as 
high as 13% in the April-June quarter, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of 
Atlanta.

   One government report last week showed that wages and benefits rose at a 
solid pace in the first quarter, suggesting that some companies are having to 
pay more to attract and keep employees. In fact, the number of open jobs is now 
significantly above pre-pandemic levels, though the size of the labor force -- 
the number of Americans either working or looking for work -- is still smaller 
by about 4 million people.

   In addition, the recovery remains sharply uneven: Most college-educated and 
white collar employees have been able to work from home over the past year. 
Many have not only built up savings but have also expanded their wealth as a 
result of rising home values and a record-setting stock market.

   By contrast, job cuts have fallen heavily on low-wage workers, racial 
minorities and people without college educations. In addition, many women, 
especially working mothers, have had to leave the workforce to care for 
children.

   iden's relief package also added $300 to weekly unemployment benefits. Meyer 
calculated that for people who earned under $32,000 a year at their previous 
job, current unemployment aid pays more than their former job did -- a reality 
that could keep up to 1 million people out of the workforce. In addition, 
higher stock prices and home values might have led up to 1.2 million older 
Americans to retire earlier than they otherwise would have.

   Still, some economists say employers will have to offer higher pay to draw 
more people back into the job market.

 
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