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Data: FRED; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy added a mere 266,000 jobs last month. Forecasters had floated gains close to 1 million, making this the biggest miss, relative to expectations, in decades.

Why it matters: It's a major setback for the hopes of a speedy labor-market recovery alongside America's great reopening.

  • Adding to the pain: Job gains in March were revised lower.

What they're saying: "This is a big miss that changes how we think about the recovery," economist Justin Wolfers tweeted.

A bright spot: The labor force grew significantly, a counterpoint to the narrative that generous unemployment checks are keeping Americans out of the workforce.

  • The unemployment rate ticked higher to 6.1%, but the broadest measure of unemployment fell from 10.7% to 10.4%.

Who liked the report? Markets reacted with elation, pricing in a Fed that continues to press hard on the accelerator for the foreseeable future.

What to watch: Expect President Biden and his economic team to double down on their argument for a $4 trillion-plus infrastructure and social-spending package, which they say can create jobs in everything from construction to clean energy.

  • Republicans will likely argue Biden’s proposed tax hikes will kill what's shaping up to be an uneven recovery, but the administration’s focus will be on getting the spending plans passed — one way or another.

The bottom line: While it’s possible that April’s jobs report might yet be revised upwards, this number proves that economics is not a science and that America’s pandemic recovery is going to be rocky.

Go deeper

Fed watch: July jobs report means talking about tapering sooner

Atlanta Fed president Raphael Bostic; Photo: Elijah Nouvelage, Bloomberg via Getty Images

Federal Reserve officials say Friday’s blockbuster jobs report supports the case for tapering supportive monetary policy relatively soon.

Why it matters: With the economy progressing, everyone wants to know when the Fed will taper its quantitative easing program and eventually start hiking interest rates.

Ina Fried, author of Login
28 mins ago - Technology
Column / Signal Boost

Exclusive: Meta's civil rights chief aims to "turn the knob" for good

Photo Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios. Photo: Meta

A year ago, Facebook brought in Roy Austin, Jr. to lead a new team focused on civil rights. Since then, he has assembled a squad of experts advising parent company Meta on everything from voting rights to hate speech to ensuring new products don't have discriminatory impact.

The big picture: Austin's team of nine must tackle those tough issues inside a company of nearly 70,000 employees serving more than 3 billion users around the world.

Momentum builds for transparency on people's salaries

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

New York City will soon require employers to supply a salary range when they're advertising a position — the biggest step yet in the growing but controversial movement for pay transparency.

Why it matters: Laws like New York's aim to give workers, particularly women and people of color, more power in job negotiations. But the rise in remote work is throwing a wrench into the effort.