The report surprised many analysts on Wall Street who expected the economy would continue adding jobs at a steady rate as the coronavirus pandemic wanes — 536,000 new jobs were added in February and 770,000 were added in March.
Included among those caught off-guard by the anemic numbers was CNBC senior economic reporter Steve Liesman, who furiously checked his notes for different information while announcing the figure during "Squawk Box" on Friday.
The April jobs report was so bad @CNBC had to double check the number to make sure they read it correctly. https://t.co/I7AHf1jUP2— Mike Berg (@Mike Berg) 1620393140.0
"It just came across, give me a second here," Liesman said as he apparently fumbled through notes.
"Ahh, sorry about that, it came across very quickly here," he added in frustration before finding the report.
"It looks 266,000," he then said defeatedly. "It looks like it was a big disappointment at 266, but maybe I have that wrong."
"Let me double-check the [Bureau of Labor Statistics] website here," he continued in disbelief. Finally he confirmed, "Yes, 266 is correct ... so we have some issues here."
TheBlaze reported on Friday that "one major roadblock" highlighted by the jobs report is the inability of companies to fill open positions, largely due to the "relative attractiveness of expanded federal unemployment benefits, and the inability of some parents to resume full time work because schools in many parts of the country have not fully reopened for full-time in-person learning."
In its coverage of the news, Bloomberg noted that even with the high unemployment numbers and low job growth, the number of available jobs in the country is approaching record levels.
Shortly after the report was released, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce called for an end to the $300 a week federal unemployment benefit, which was extended in the Biden administration's recent coronavirus relief package.
"The disappointing jobs report makes it clear that paying people not to work is dampening what should be a stronger jobs market," said the chamber's chief policy officer, Neal Bradley, in a statement. "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."