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U.S. hiring takes big step back; shortages of workers, raw materials blamed

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US hiring takes big step backwards

U.S. job growth unexpectedly slowed in April, likely restrained by shortages of workers and raw materials as an economic recovery bolstered by rapidly improving public health and massive government aid fueled a boom in demand.

The Labor Department's closely watched employment report on Friday, which showed a plunge in temporary help jobs - a harbinger for future hiring - as well as decreases in manufacturing, retail and courier services employment, could heat up the debate on generous unemployment benefits.

The enhanced jobless benefits, including a government-funded $300 weekly supplement, pay more than most minimum wage jobs. The unemployment benefits were extended as part of a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 pandemic relief package approved in March. Montana and South Carolina are ending government-funded pandemic unemployment benefits for residents next month.


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