The April Jobs Numbers Were So Bad That CNBC’s Steve Liesman Thought It Was A Typo


Greg Price Contributor
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Many commentators were surprised by the disappointing April jobs numbers but none more so than CNBC’s Steve Liesman, who had to do a double-take while reading them during a Friday Morning segment of Squawk Box.

The Department of Labor data released Friday showed that the U.S. economy is still 8.2 million jobs short of pre-lockdown levels, with a reported increase of just 266,000 jobs in April.

As the numbers came in this morning, Liesman was so taken aback that he thought it was a typo.

“It looks like 266,000, but maybe I have that wrong, let me double-check the bureau website here … Yes, 266 is correct. Unemployment changed to 6.1%. So we have some issues here.”

The jobs numbers fell well short of the one million Americans economists projected would be added to the payrolls in April.

CNBC’s Rick Santelli followed up Liesman by breaking down the changes in private payrolls, average hourly earnings, average workweek, and labor force participation rate.

In spite of the disappointing numbers, the U.S. has added roughly 1.6 million jobs since January and the economy grew 6.4% in the first quarter of 2021, which are positive signs of economic recovery after a year of lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

President Joe Biden has repeatedly touted his American Rescue Plan, which included $1,400 direct payments to Americans and an additional $400 in unemployment pay per week, and has now turned his focus to pushing through a massive $2.3 trillion infrastructure package and a $1.8 trillion families plan.

In a Friday morning press conference, President Biden attempted to put the disappointing April numbers into perspective. (RELATED: Biden’s Families Plan Would Cause Negative Economic Growth, Analysis Shows)

“Today, there is more evidence that our economy is moving in the right direction, but it’s clear we have a long way to go,” President Biden said.