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The U.S. economy added just 266,000 jobs in April, far fewer than the 1 million economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected, the Labor Department reported this morning.

The unemployment rate rose to 6.1% in April from 6.0% in March on an increase in the labor force participation rate to 61.7% from 61.5% in March. The labor force participate rate remains well below the 63.3% rate from February 2020.

The U.S. economy brought back far fewer jobs than estimated in April and the unemployment rate unexpectedly increased, underscoring the choppiness in the labor market’s recovery even as social distancing requirements were eased further in the spring.

Average hourly earnings, month-over-month, rose 0.7% in April, and 0.3% year over year.

The March gain in jobs was also revised sharply lower to 770,000 from the initially reported 916,000.

The U.S. economy remains 8.2 million jobs below the pre-pandemic level of February 2020.