A surprisingly weak report on hiring in the United States rippled through financial markets on Friday, with the data deflating investors’ concerns that the economy could overheat as it recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.
Employers added 266,000 workers last month, the government said, far below economists’ expectations of an increase of nearly 1 million new positions. The report also revised March’s job gains lower.
As the economy has rebounded from last year’s shutdowns, investors have grown worried this year that the Federal Reserve might be prompted to remove some of its emergency assistance for the economy — by raising interest rates or cutting back on its bond-buying program — sooner than anticipated. One reason the Fed would have to do that, some economists have argued, is that the rapid growth could trigger inflation that the central bank can’t tolerate.
But Friday’s data bolstered the…