The US economy added only 266,000 jobs and the unemployment rate rose to 6.1% in April, the Department of Labor announced Friday.

The market estimate for nonfarm payrolls was an increase of 978,000, while job additions for March were revised down by 146,000 from 916,000 to 770,000, according to data by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The unemployment rate also failed to meet market expectations, up to 6.1% in April, compared to an estimate of 5.8%. It stood at 6% in March.

The data showed that the labor market is still weak in the country, and the Federal Reserve could have to wait longer to raise interest rates until the labor market fully recovers and full employment is achieved.

Read more: Virus deaths and unemployment increase across Europe and US as cases pass 1m

The number of unemployed individuals in the US increased to 9.8 million in April from 9.7 million the previous month.

“In April, the number of persons jobless less than 5 weeks increased by 237,000 to 2.4 million,” the report said.

“The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more), at 4.2 million, was essentially unchanged in April but is 3.1 million higher than in February 2020. These long-term unemployed accounted for 43.0 percent of the total unemployed in April,” it added.

Due to COVID-19, more than 22 million people in the world’s largest economy lost their jobs in March and April 2020.

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