AP: “Thanks in Part to $1,400 Stimulus Check, Americans are Buying More Homes and Cars”

“Did you buy a new house with your stimulus check too?”

In an article about there not being enough workers for all of these businesses that are looking to hire more people, the Associated Press asserts that Americans are flush with cash, buying houses and cars, “thanks in part” to the $1,400 stimulus checks.


With viral cases declining, consumers spending again and more businesses easing restrictions, America’s employers likely delivered another month of robust hiring in April, reinforcing the economy’s steady rebound from the pandemic recession.

Economists have forecast that the nation added 975,000 jobs last month, according to a survey by FactSet, after adding 916,000 in March, and that the unemployment rate slipped from 6% to 5.8%. The size of such job gains was essentially unheard-of before the pandemic.

The government will issue the April jobs report at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time Friday.

Yet most of the hiring represents a bounce-back after tens of millions of jobs were lost when the pandemic flattened the economy 14 months ago. Even if economists’ estimate for April hiring proves accurate, the economy would remain about 7 million jobs short of its pre-pandemic level.

At the same time, optimism about a sustained recovery is rising. Americans are, on average, flush with cash, thanks in part to $1,400 stimulus checks that have gone to most adults and to savings that many affluent households managed to build up during the pandemic. Fueled by that extra money, Americans are buying more homes and cars, boosting restaurant and retail sales and filling more airline seats.

And most economists expect outsize job growth to continue in the coming months as vaccinations are widely administered and trillions in government aid spreads through the economy. Even if another uptick in COVID-19 cases were to occur, analysts don’t expect most states and cities to reimpose tough business restrictions. Oxford Economics, a consulting firm, predicts that a total of 8 million jobs will be added this year, reducing the unemployment rate to a low 4.3% by the final three months of 2021.

“We do believe that the jobs recovery will remain robust throughout the rest of this year,” said Nela Richardson, chief economist for payroll provider ADP.

Still, one unusual factor might have kept a lid on job growth in April: Some employers would have hired more workers, if only they could find them. There have been complaints from businesses — notably restaurants, bars and hotels as well as some manufacturing and construction companies — that the economy is recovering so fast that there aren’t enough applicants to fill their open jobs. One government report last week showed that wages and benefits rose at a solid pace in the first quarter, suggesting that some companies are having to pay more to attract and keep employees.

The number of open jobs is now significantly above pre-pandemic levels, though the size of the labor force — the number of Americans either working or looking for work — is still smaller by about 4 million people.

Not enough workers because you scared everyone to death, telling them that there was a dangerous virus that could kill them if they interacted with other humans?

No problem! Just call Central America and ask for a caravan.