June 07, 2021

May jobs report lower than expected

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported non-farm payrolls increased 559,000 in May, and may jobs reportthe unemployment rate fell to 5.8 percent. NAFCU Chief Economist and Vice President of Research Curt Long analyzed the report in a new NAFCU Macro Data Flash report

“This was a generally encouraging report as jobs gains improved significantly over the prior month,” said Long. “Women under age 35 saw a large share of those gains, which may indicate that childcare issues are abating.”

Of note, April's number was revised up slightly to a gain of 278,000.

Average hourly earnings rose 15 cents in May. Year-over-year wage growth was 2 percent. The labor force participation rate declined 0.1 percent to 61.6 percent, which is still down significantly from 63.3 percent in February 2020.

Results among the major industries was mostly positive. Leisure and hospitality gained 292,000 jobs, followed by 87,000 jobs in the education and health services sector, and 67,000 in the government sector. Construction shed 20,000 jobs.

“On the downside, labor force participation dropped slightly,” concluded Long. “Overall, this report should quell fears of a major slowdown, but it also highlights that the labor market will take substantial time before a full recovery is achievable.”