U.S. employment growth rebounded in May; unemployment rate fell to 5.8%

Washington (Associated Press)-U.S. employers added 559,000 jobs in May, which is an improvement from the slow growth in April, but still shows that as the economy quickly recovers from a pandemic recession, many companies are working hard Find enough workers.

Employment growth last month was higher than the revised total of 278,000 in April. The Labor Department said on Friday. This The unemployment rate dropped from 6.1% to 5.8%.

President Joe Biden will speak on the May report at 10:15 am EST. NewsNation will stream events in the embedded player.

The speed of the rebound from the pandemic recession caught employers off guard and sparked a hiring boom. Driven by massive federal aid and increased vaccination rates, the economy has reopened, releasing consumers’ pent-up demand for eating out, traveling, shopping, participating in public events, and visiting relatives and friends.

Many large chains, including Amazon, Walmart, Costco, and Chipotle, have raised their starting salaries to better attract applicants. However, so far, these efforts have not achieved much. After three months of growth, the number of people working or looking for a job dropped slightly in May last month.

The economy grew at a strong annual growth rate of 6.4% last quarter, and economists expect this quarter’s growth rate to accelerate by 9% or more. Driven by increased spending, all of this growth has exacerbated concerns about inflation. but now, It mainly drives the demand for labor.

According to data from the employment website Indeed, job postings in late May were nearly 26% higher than pre-pandemic levels. Government data shows that the posts posted are at the highest level in records dating back to 2000.

Consumers are opening their wallets. After making huge gains in March from issuing a $1,400 stimulus check, they increased their spending in April. As more and more Americans feel comfortable staying in hotels and visiting entertainment venues, service spending has skyrocketed.

In fact, the service industry, including banking, retail and shipping, expanded in May at the fastest rate on record. There is evidence that consumers have begun the long-awaited shift, from the large quantities of goods many of them buy while staying at home to the consumption of services, from haircuts to sporting events to vacation trips.

The number of people seeking unemployment benefits has fallen to the lowest level since the beginning of the pandemic for five consecutive weeks, indicating that the number of layoffs is decreasing.There are still 15 million people receive federal or state unemployment assistance, Although this number has also fallen from approximately 20 million in February.

The disappearance of the pandemic has created a disconnect between the company and the unemployed.Although companies are eager to add workers immediately, many unemployed people are either Looking for a better job Compared with before the pandemic, Still lacking Affordable childcare services, Worried about contracting COVID-19 or decided to retire early.

This mismatch led to a sharp slowdown in hiring numbers in April, when employers added far fewer jobs than economists had predicted, and were also much less than the number of hiring in March.

According to data from the employment website Indeed, although the economy still has 8.2 million jobs less than before the pandemic, job postings in late May were nearly 26% higher than pre-pandemic levels. Government data shows that the number of posts posted has reached the highest record since 2000.

Many businesses blame 300 USD per week Dismal federal unemployment benefits Some unemployed people are unemployed because of their work. Governors of 25 states have responded Cut off this benefit prematurely, Starting this month, the welfare program ends nationwide on September 6.

Becky Frankiewicz, president of the North American division of Manpower Group, a temporary human resources company, said that many of the company’s customers are increasing salaries and benefits to attract more job seekers. Some of these companies, especially manufacturing and warehousing companies, Also trying other strategies, Such as paying employees’ wages every week or even every day instead of every two weeks. Manpower also encourages its clients to provide job opportunities on the same day as the interview, rather than waiting.

Frankiewicz said that about 60% of Manpower’s temporary positions will leave before the end of the temporary assignment, mainly because they received better offers.

“People have choices,” she said. “The company must provide cash payment speed, recruitment speed and great flexibility in working methods.”

However, for now, there are signs that many unemployed people are still cautious about finding a job.

On Thursday, Tony Sasam, CEO of grocery distributor and retailer SpartanNash, said in a conference call with investors that the company participated in a job fair last month and 60 companies have 500 jobs. Fill up.

“Only four candidates showed up,” Salsam said.

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