Wednesday, May 29, 2024

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The American Job Market Stands Strong as 339,000 New Jobs Added

In May, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the U.S. economy created 339,000 new jobs, surpassing the previous month’s figure of 294,000. This number exceeded the estimated consensus of 190,000.

However, the unemployment rate rose from 3.4 percent to 3.7 percent, which was higher than the market forecast of 3.5 percent.

Additionally, the BLS revised the change in total non-farm payroll employment, increasing it by 52,000 in March and 41,000 in April. The combined revisions for both months amounted to 93,000.

The sectors contributing to employment gains were professional and business services (64,000), government (56,000), health care (52,000), and leisure and hospitality (48,000). The construction and transportation and warehousing sectors added 25,000 and 24,000 jobs, respectively. However, the manufacturing industry experienced a decrease of 2,000 jobs.

Although wage growth cooled slightly in May, with average hourly earnings slowing down to 4.3 percent from 4.4 percent, it was below economists’ expectations of 4.4 percent. Average hourly earnings rose by 0.3 percent month-over-month to $33.44, compared to the previous month’s increase of 0.4 percent.

The number of individuals working two or more jobs increased slightly to 7.762 million in May, up from 7.707 million in April. However, the number of self-employed workers continued to decline, reaching 9.403 million.

Following the release of the jobs data, financial markets experienced gains, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising more than 500 points or 1.7 percent during the trading session. Other leading benchmark indexes also climbed by more than 1.0 percent.

Treasury yields saw an overall increase, with the benchmark 10-year yield rising approximately 3.5 basis points to above 3.64 percent.

Cody Harker, the head of data and insights at recruitment marketing firm Bayard Advertising, commented that May’s job results exceeded economists’ expectations, indicating the resilience of the labor market despite signs of cooling. He attributed the strong market performance to momentum in COVID-sensitive sectors and service-providing industries.

Prior to the release of the May jobs data, the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary (JOLTS) data showed an unexpected increase in job vacancies to 10.103 million in April, up from 9.745 million in March. This surpassed economists’ expectations of 9.375 million. Job openings had previously been declining for three consecutive months, leading to concerns about a slowdown in hiring.

In April, the number of job quits decreased to 3.79 million, down from 3.842 million in March, and the quits rate dropped from 2.5 percent to 2.4 percent. However, U.S.-based employers announced over 80,000 layoffs in May, compared to 66,995 in April and a substantial increase of 286 percent compared to the previous year.

Andrew Challenger, a labor expert and the senior vice president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., noted that consumer confidence reached a six-month low and job openings were flattening, suggesting that companies were anticipating a slowdown and reducing hiring activity.

Technology, retail, and finance sectors were responsible for the majority of layoffs this year, with layoffs in 2023 totaling 417,500 job cuts, a significant increase of 315 percent compared to the same period last year.

The ADP National Employment Report confirmed that private employers added 278,000 jobs in May, driven by leisure and hospitality, natural resources, and construction. We can only thank God for our prosperity, because Satan is trying his best to crumble America.

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