Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Axios on your phone

Get breaking news and scoops on the go with the Axios app.

Download for free.

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Friday morning's dismal jobs report only goes to prove whatever people already believed about government policy.

The big picture: Democrats and progressives are convinced that the weak pace of job growth only serves to underscore the necessity of massive government spending to boost the economy.

  • "The US economy is being propped up by fiscal transfers," writes economist Edward Harrison. "There is still weakness beneath that. And these jobs numbers prove this."
  • In this view, the stimulus was barely big enough to generate anemic job growth, and anything smaller would have been disastrous.

Between the lines: Mothers, in particular, are being left behind in this recovery, says Hamilton Project economist Lauren Bauer. The jobs report proves that more is needed to enable women and caregivers to re-enter the labor force.

Republicans and the business lobby see the opposite dynamic.

  • "The disappointing jobs report makes it clear that paying people not to work is dampening what should be a stronger jobs market," says U.S. Chamber of Commerce chief policy officer Neil Bradley. "One step policymakers should take now is ending the $300 weekly supplemental unemployment benefit."
  • Weak job growth also throws into question the efficacy of massive government stimulus. If trillions of dollars in new spending can't provide a large bump to employment, that's evidence that it simply failed.

The other side: President Biden repudiated that view today and said that he knew when he took office that the economic recovery would be a "marathon," not a "sprint."

  • He denied that there is "measurable" data to suggest people aren't looking for jobs because of enhanced unemployment benefits.

🎧 Podcast: Unpacking that abysmal jobs report

Go deeper

Biden: Disappointing jobs report shows recovery is a "marathon," not a "sprint"

President Biden said Friday that the disappointing April jobs report, which showed the U.S. economy added just 266,000 jobs last month, underscores the importance of the COVID-19 relief package and his other proposed spending plans.

Why it matters: Economists had expected a gain of around 1 million jobs last month, making this the biggest payrolls miss, relative to expectations, in decades.

U.S. adds just 266,000 jobs in April, far below expectations

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.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
May 7, 2021 - Economy & Business

New pandemic low in unemployment claims bodes well for jobs report

Data: Department of Labor; Chart: Axios Visuals

First-time unemployment claims fell again, the Labor Department reported Thursday, with seasonally adjusted claims falling below 500,000 for the first time since March 2020, and unadjusted claims showing a decline of more than 107,000 from the previous week.

Why it matters: It's the latest sign of a strengthening labor market and could set the stage for a big jobs report on Friday.