By author Tom Williams
One month after the dismal April 2021 jobs report, the subpar 559K jobs were added in May 2021 which was another miss to expectations of 674K – as a reminder, we need to be adding at least 1 million jobs every month to recover to pre-pandemic level. Widely expected April’s report was upwardly revised by 278K upward. What this shows us is that the Obama-era “job market” economy is back with a vengeance. As you can see we have recovered only about 60% that was lost after the covid19 “pandemic.”
The unemployment rate fell to 5.8% from 6.1%. The reason why the unemployment rate fell is that 160,000 people left the labor force in May. That’s not what you’d like to see in an economic recovery. With so much of the recent labor market discourse focusing on widespread shortages resulting from Uncle Sam’s generous unemployment benefits, 15 million people are still collecting some form of weekly unemployment benefit.
Where was the job growth?
- Employment in leisure and hospitality increased by 292,000, as pandemic-related restrictions continued to ease in some parts of the country.*Nearly two-thirds of the increase was in food services and drinking places (+186,000). Employment also rose in amusements, gambling, and recreation (+58,000) and in accommodation (+35,000).
- Employment in leisure and hospitality is down by 2.5 million, or 15.0 percent, from its level in February 2020.
- Employment increased in public and private education, reflecting the continued resumption of in-person learning and other
school-related activities in some parts of the country.
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