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Weak U.S. Jobs Data Expose Deep Partisan Divide on Benefits (1)

May 8, 2021, 12:24 AM

A dramatically weaker-than-expected monthly gain in U.S. jobs triggered a tense partisan exchange in Washington over the role of enhanced unemployment benefits in holding people back from filling job openings.

President Joe Biden said there was “nothing measurable” in Friday’s report to back up suggestions that the $300 a week extra in jobless benefits extended in his March pandemic-relief bill was stopping people from returning to work. The April data showed a 266,000 increase in payrolls -- less than half of the weakest forecast in the Bloomberg survey.

Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, reflected the view of many ...

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