Washington [US], May 8 (ANI): The US Labour Department on Friday reported that the American economy added only 266,000 jobs - way below the one million jobs expected by economists - while the unemployment rate rose to 6.1 per cent.
"Today, the Bureau of Labour Statistics reported that the American economy added 266,000 jobs in the month of April, and the unemployment rate was 6.1 percent, up marginally from 6.0 percent in March. Labour force participation is at its highest point since last August and the number of people expressing hesitancy about returning to work due to the coronavirus is at its lowest point in the pandemic," said US Secretary of Labour Marty Walsh.
"However, the numbers also show we have a steep climb ahead of us. We have yet to recover roughly 8 million jobs that existed prior to the pandemic," he added.
According to New York Times, this report poses the greatest test to President Joe Biden's strategy to revive the pandemic economic recovery, with business groups and Republicans pushing the president to end an expanded benefit for the unemployed.
Speaking at the White House, Biden said that his USD 1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan was designed to help the US over the course of a year, not 60 days, and stressed that "we have a long way to go".
"Today, there is more evidence that our economy is moving in the right direction, but it is clear we have a long way to go. All told, our economy has added more than 1,500,000 new jobs since I took office. That is the most number of jobs created in the first three months of any presidency in our history," he said.
Dismissing negative reactions on the plan, the US President asserted that it will take focus, commitment and time to get the economy moving again.
"Today's report makes clear: Thank goodness we passed the American Rescue Plan. Help is here, and more help is on the way, and more help is needed... The data shows that more -- more workers -- more workers are looking for jobs, and many cannot find them. While jobs are coming back, there are still millions of people out there looking for work," he added.
There were 266,000 more Americans with the dignity that comes from the job, he said.
Biden further mentioned that his 'laser focus' is on growing the nation's economy, creating jobs and vaccinating the country, adding that "we are making continued progress".
Calling his plan the 'blue-collar blueprint for America', he said: "We will not get all 1.6 million of those jobs back in one month, but you are going to start seeing those jobs and state and local workers coming back."According to The Hill, the latest figures on US jobs led Republicans to swiftly criticise Biden's agenda, arguing that it proved that his large recovery package was too extreme and incentivised people not to work.
The Democrats had passed the USD 1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package in March without Republican support using budget reconciliation.
The bill provided financial assistance to workers, businesses, and state and local governments, as well as funding to implement a national coronavirus vaccine program, among other provisions. (ANI)