US stocks increased by 0.71% and international markets were up by 1.47% as the incredible rally rolls on.
The US added only 266,000 jobs in April, way short of the consensus estimate of 1,000,000. The unemployment rate increased to 6.1% from 6.0%. While the economy is certainly growing, some businesses remain hesitant to hire and many say they simply can’t find employees. Prospective employees are still worried about the virus, some stay home because of child-care responsibilities, and others receive unemployment benefits that are high enough to offset the need to go back to work. The demand for help has pushed wages higher, rising by 21 cents to $30.17 per hour and the average workweek increased to 35 hours. The labor-force participation rate hit its highest level since August at 61.7%.
GDP increased by 6.4% in the first quarter. Excluding the increase in Q3 of last year, it was the fasted rate of growth since 2003.
The service sector in the US grew at a record pace in April. The US Services Purchasing Managers Index was 64.7, up from 60.4 in March.