The economy could create an additional one million jobs in April as recovery efforts continue across the country, according to economists. As businesses in states like New York and Florida — which have plans to fully reopen in the coming months — can once again open their doors to customers, they will need more employees to accommodate increasing demand. Increasing demand has given economists reason to have a positive outlook for April, with the full employment report expected on May 7.
Continuous job growth in April would match the pattern of accelerated growth over the past several months — the economy added 916,000 jobs in March and 379,000 in February. Additionally, the number of people filing claims for federal unemployment benefits fell to a pandemic low of 553,000 by the end of the week of April 24. Rapidly increasing rates of employment are coupled with an economic boom as the nation recovers from Covid-19. The economy grew by 6.4 percent alone in the first quarter of the year and could climb to as much as 10 percent by the end of the second quarter.
The employment boom is driven largely by the increasing number of fully vaccinated adults in the country. Nearly 30 percent of all Americans are fully vaccinated, meaning that businesses are seeing increasing in-store traffic and higher amounts of domestic travel and tourism. If the employment boom continues through April with more than one million new jobs, it will mark the highest gain in employment since August 2020, before the second surge of Covid-19. Experts predict that many of the new jobs are likely in the industries that suffered the most tremendous losses as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Retail stores, airlines, and the leisure and hospitality sector should see the greatest increase in employment, followed by manufacturing.
These same industries that are likely to see growth are the same ones predicted to have hiring difficulties because of expanded unemployment benefits that may even pay more than some full-time jobs. Industries will need to raise their own pay rates to help attract workers who can make more at home. Businesses also need to face anxieties about Covid-19 that may prevent people from returning to work, and in some states, increasing infection rates that could again stifle economic growth. For the time, economic growth is limited by the capacity of the United States to effectively fight against new Covid-19 infections.
The exact number of jobs that the economy created in April remains to be seen, and estimates vary widely between economists. Economies at Jefferies predict a massive gain of 2.1 million, while more conservative estimates include one million, 1.25 million, and 1.2 million from Evercore, Morgan Stanley, and Capital Economists, respectively. The most promising data, according to these analysts, is the declining number of new unemployment benefits claims. On the other end of the spectrum, economists at Barclays and Grant Thornton predict lower gains in employment, coming in at 900,000 and 800,000, respectively.