The U.S. economy added 559,000 jobs last month while the unemployment rate fell from 6.1% to 5.8%.
The data, put out by the Department of Labor on Friday morning, fell short of economists’ expectations of job growth but passed expectations for the unemployment rate after April’s disastrous jobs report signaled critical issues in the United States’ recovery. Economists moderated their expectations from April to May, predicting 671,000 jobs added and an unemployment rate of 5.9%, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Experts were closely watching the May jobs report to see if the economy rebounded from April’s disastrous numbers when jobs added fell far short of the nearly 1 million expected and the unemployment rate ticked up to 6.1%. The May report would either confirm or alleviate fears that the April report signaled problems in the U.S. recovery.
Nearly half of small business owners in the U.S. reported having unfilled job openings in May as employers attempt to entice former employees and new workers back into the workforce as states continue to lift pandemic restrictions, according to the Journal. Economists pointed to several possible reasons growth may be slow. As the Journal reports:
Economists have pointed to a variety of other factors that could be contributing to constrained job growth. Those issues include some workers’ concerns about contracting the coronavirus, child-care responsibilities preventing some parents from returning to work, and a federal supplement for recipients of unemployment benefits.
Last month, the Labor Department reported that inflation over the year prior had jumped at the largest rate since the Great Recession in 2008. As The Daily Wire reported:
The Department of Labor released data tracking inflation in the U.S. on Wednesday morning. The April jump in CPI was driven by a 10% price hike on used cars and trucks, the largest jump for that market on record.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported: “The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.8 percent in April on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.6 percent in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 4.2 percent before seasonal adjustment. This is the largest 12-month increase since a 4.9-percent increase for the period ending September 2008.”
The 12-month inflation rate soared past the expectations of economists, who expected inflation to fall around 3.6% and 0.6% lower than the actual 4.2% inflationary spike.
The index for all items less food and energy measures the increase in cost of what economists refer to as a “typical” basket of consumer goods, minus any food or fuel products because those prices tend to fluctuate day-to-day. The index for all items less food and energy, known by economists as “core CPI” because of its relative stability, jumped 0.9% in April, its largest one-month hike since April 1982, according to BLS data.
The report on inflation followed a poor report showing job growth for April falling far shorter than expected. President Joe Biden spun the poor economic news by claiming that the April jobs report showed that “our economy is moving in the right direction.”
“This month’s job numbers show we’re on the right track,” Biden claimed. “We still have a long way to go. As I said, my laser focus is on growing the nation’s economy and creating jobs.”