May Jobs Report *Better*, Which Is *Better* Than *Worse*!
Hiring sign outside assisted living facility. Photo: Bill Smith, Creative Commons license 2.0

The monthly jobs report is out from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, showing the country adding 559,000 jobs in May and the unemployment rate dropping to 5.8 — the lowest unemployment has been since the pandemic crushed employment last year. Also good news: Unlike some previous reductions in the unemployment rate that were distorted because people had given up on looking for work, the "labor force participation rate" for May wasn't changed much from April, which means that the reduction in the unemployment rate went down because people really were finding jobs.

President Joe Biden called the May job numbers "great news for our economy and the recovery," and pointed out that over two million new jobs have been created since he took office. Here, have yourselves some video!

Biden also pointed out that when the monthly survey was taken in early May, only about 35 percent of working-aged adults were fully vaccinated. Since then, some 21 million more Americans have been vaccinated, and the employment news is expected to keep improving as more and more people feel safe to go back to work. He also noted that some 20,000 new jobs have been created in child care, which should help people seek work, too.

And you'd better believe he reminded people that the new child tax credit from the American Rescue Plan will start getting money to parents next month.

To keep the employment picture improving, Biden called again for Congress to pass his two big economic packages, the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan, because while adding half a million jobs in a month is good, the economy is still down about 7.6 million jobs from pre-pandemic levels.

The May report did fall short of projections by economists surveyed by Dow Jones; the economists had predicted 671,000 new jobs in May. But the gap between the projection and the BLS report was much smaller than in April, when economists expected over a million new jobs, compared to April's actual number of 278,000 (as revised upward in the new report).

CNBC reports that the slightly lower than expected jobs numbers don't seem to have made the markets jittery, and perhaps even the opposite. Also, the mandatory economist weighs in:

Stock market futures actually rose, with investors betting that the measured pace of job gains would keep the Federal Reserve from raising interest rates and tightening monetary policy.

"Economists have been a little overly optimistic about the pace of which we're moving here. It takes a while for people to get jobs," said Kathy Jones, head of fixed income at Charles Schwab. "For the stock market, there's no reason for the Fed to move too quickly, and therefore that's also good news for the bond market."

The biggest sectors for job growth were in the services industry, which makes sense since it also took the biggest hit in the crash.

Leisure and hospitality added 292,000 positions, with the bulk of 186,000 coming in restaurants and bars.

Public and private education also saw the benefits of reopening, adding 144,000 across the board.

And here's a relief: As you might recall, in April, there were significant job losses among women, with 34,000 women losing work. Good news: May was far, far better!

Women accounted for most of the added jobs, with the number of female workers over the age of 20 growing by 381,000. Teenagers, who accounted for most of the gains in April, added another 70,000 jobs.

That certainly suggests April was a dip, not a trend, and let's keep pressuring the Senate to get those jobs bills passed, shall we?

Oh, yes, and smash capitalism.

[Bureau of Labor Statistics / CNN / CNBC / Photo: Bill Smith, Creative Commons license 2.0]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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