May Jobs Report Signals A Slowing Economy

Friday’s Non-Farm Payroll report from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) showed better initial numbers than expected for May but continues a trend of slower recovery for the U.S. economy in a season of record-high inflation. 

The report was expected to show that 350,000 jobs were added last month, with an unemployment rate of 3.5%. The numbers were expected to be a minimum of 25% reduction behind April’s job growth. Thursday’s monthly report from ADP showed the lowest job creation since the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Friday’s report from BLS showed that the U.S. economy added 390,000 jobs in May, which is roughly a 10% reduction from the month prior.

However, unemployment did not decrease for the month, remaining at 3.6% nationwide.  

The number of permanent layoffs remained mostly unchanged at about 1.4 million workers. One figure to note, the number of long-term unemployed workers in the U.S. showed its highest numbers since February 2020, increasing by more than 230,000 workers in May. This may be one of the primary signals indicating a stalling economic recovery nationwide. 

The report also showed that the number of workers only able to retain part-time work due to a lack of opportunities rose by 295,000 to about 4.3 million workers nationwide. 

May’s report also noted that nearly 6 million Americans remain unemployed but actively seeking employment around the country. 

The number of employees nationwide who work remotely saw a drop in May, from 7.7% of the nation’s workforce to just over 7.4% total.

The travel industry saw the most substantial growth in May, adding more than 80,000 jobs, while transportation, construction, and education showed strong job growth nationwide. 

The most significant loss in jobs for the month was in retail, showing a loss of more than 60,000 positions nationwide. 

Overall, May’s report showed an expected slow down in the nation’s economic recovery, in line with continued inflation, pointing to a potential economic recession for the country. 


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