CNBC analyst Steve Liesman reported the Bureau of Labor’s April nonfarm payroll numbers on Friday.
Looking at his computer, he saw the number and said, “Ahh, sorry about that, it came across very quickly here.”
“It looks like 266,000. It looks like it was a big disappointment at 266.”
“But maybe I have that wrong. Let me double-check the Bureau website here. Yes, 266 is correct … so we have some issues here.”
Liesman was confused because Wall Street was looking for quadruple the number. The much lower than expected number of new jobs boosted the unemployment rate to 6.1 percent.
— Mike Berg (@MikeKBerg) May 7, 2021
Although the unemployment rate ticked up, companies are finding it extremely difficult to fill the many jobs that are available. “Help wanted” signs are everywhere. The workers who would normally take those positions are finding that it doesn’t pay for them to work when they can do as well or almost as well by collecting unemployment benefits.
The government has created a disincentive to work.
Shortly after the numbers were announced, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer Neil Bradley issued a statement:
“The disappointing jobs report makes it clear that paying people not to work is dampening what should be a stronger jobs market. We need a comprehensive approach to dealing with our workforce issues and the very real threat unfilled positions poses to our economic recovery from the pandemic. One step policymakers should take now is ending the $300 weekly supplemental unemployment benefit. Based on the Chamber’s analysis, the $300 benefit results in approximately one in four recipients taking home more in unemployment than they earned working.”
Speaking to reporters on Monday about the report, President Joe Biden got a little confused. He claimed that workers aren’t being paid to stay home. In his confusion, he then contradicted himself.
“There’s been a lot of discussion since Friday’s report that people are being paid to stay home rather than go to work but we don’t see much evidence of that,” said Biden before saying, “That is a major factor — we, we don’t see that, that…look…”
Joe Biden claims workers aren't being paid to stay home, gets confused, then says the exact opposite pic.twitter.com/hjYln9gu4e
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) May 10, 2021