COLUMBIA - If you were expecting more people to return to work last month... think again.
U.S. job growth in April severely underperformed economists' expectations, only adding 266,000 jobs.
Many assumed the month would add over one million new jobs as the market is trying to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
"You still have a lot of people getting unemployment benefits... which under the latest legislation, runs until September," said Marty Steffens, MU Chair in Business and Financial Journalism.
With many reasons for people to not return to work like unemployment benefits and increased childcare from online schooling, among others, businesses are begging for more people.
There is not enough staff in most fast casual dining to compensate for the extremely long lines that wrap around the restaurants. Everywhere you look in mid-Missouri cities, there is a "HELP WANTED" or "HIRING NOW" sign.
Available temporary employees also decreased slightly.
Tiffany Rees, business developer for temporary staffing agency Express Employment, believes her associates can at least help mitigate the problem.
"We do try to take a lot of stress and burden, when it comes to trying to up your business. Finding you the right candidate. We have steps to make sure you have the right candidate to reduce your turnover rate," Rees said.
Another big job loss was grocery store employees and delivery couriers, with more people eating out rather than dining in.
"If you were a delivery driver, if you did other kinds of things that were closely connected to the pandemic, those jobs just kind of disappeared," Steffens said.
Leisure and hospitality were hit very hard during the entirety of the pandemic, yet found a way to be the top job addition during the last month.
The positive note is many states - including Missouri - are opening up very soon. Boone County is letting current health order expires May 12 and will not be extended.