'Supply Constraints Are NOT GREAT BOB': Economists React To May Jobs Report On Twitter
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 559,000 jobs in May, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.
The unemployment rate fell from 6.1% to 5.8%.
Notable job gains were found in leisure and hospitality, which added 292,000 jobs in May, the most of any industry. This sector has led job growth for the last four months. Almost two-thirds of those jobs were in food services and drinking places as restrictions eased in many states.
Similarly, employment increased in education in May as in-person learning and other school-related activities resumed. But the sector is still below February 2020 levels by 556,000 jobs in local government education, 244,000 jobs in state government education and 293,000 jobs in private education.
In other real estate-related job sectors, manufacturing added 23,000 jobs in May, and transportation and warehousing also added 23,000 jobs. Clothing and accessories stores added 11,000 jobs, but employment in retail trade is below its February 2020 level by 411,000 jobs.
Construction employment fell by 20,000 jobs in May. The construction industry has 225,000 fewer jobs now than it did in February 2020.
Here's how economists and others reacted to May's jobs report on Twitter.
+559k jobs in May is slightly better than the average growth of the prior 3 months. If this pace continues over the next year, we will likely get down to 4% unemployment by mid-2022 and will be fully recovered before the end of 2022, fully absorbing losses plus population growth.— Elise Gould (@eliselgould) June 4, 2021
Big job gains in hospitality & education --> a clear sign of return to in-person activities.— Heather Long (@byHeatherLong) June 4, 2021
Education (public+private): +144,000
Temp help: +4,000
Oddly, construction LOST 20,000 jobs in May
Here's a weird one: Construction employment down 20k in May, mainly due to 17k drop in nonresidential specialty trade contractors. Despite the housing boom, construction employment still 225k below February 2020. Supply constraints are NOT GREAT BOB.— Neil Irwin (@Neil_Irwin) June 4, 2021
Leisure and hospitality: +292,000— Mike Konczal (@rortybomb) June 4, 2021
Accommodation and food services: +220,600
I just don't see the service sector labor supply crisis here. Again, these numbers are on (or above) the expectation; it's the -20,000 workers in construction that leaves me puzzled.
Respectable overall jobs number, respectable decline in the unemployment.— Jason Furman (@jasonfurman) June 4, 2021
Stunning increase in nominal wages, last two-months is the fastest increase since the early 1980s.
And given the above, surprising that labor force participation rate declined slightly.
Nearly 8 million people reported that they did not work in May because their employer closed or lost business due to the #pandemic. Seems to be at odds with all of the job openings and reports of worker shortages. #jobsreport— Carl R. Tannenbaum (@NT_CTannenbaum) June 4, 2021
"Only a few months ago we had expected to see several months' worth of gains north of one million as the economy reopened, but labor supply is bouncing back much more slowly than demand." - @CapEconUS— James Pethokoukis (@JimPethokoukis) June 4, 2021
Women's labor force participation won't get better until September at the earliest. There are no moms out there who are thinking, "After a grueling year of teaching my kids, I'll start working this summer now that I finally have a chance to relax, travel and see people." https://t.co/wJUcuOxmj5— Audrey Goodson Kingo (@AudreyNGoodson) June 4, 2021
Job growth in State & Local government was strong (+78,000) but we need much, much more. We're still down 1.2 million S&L govt jobs since Feb '20—most of it (801,000) in education. It’s crucial S&L governments use their ARP funds to refill those jobs. 17/— Heidi Shierholz (@hshierholz) June 4, 2021
ding ding ding ding dinggggggggggg https://t.co/n3oCYZruoM— Chabeli Carrazana (@ChabeliH) June 4, 2021
Black adult women’s unemployment is 1.7 times higher than White women’s, and Latinas’ 1.5 times higher. Differences by race & ethnicity narrowed slightly compared to April because White women’s unemployment rate stayed unchanged (at 4.8%).— IWPR (@IWPResearch) June 4, 2021
Steady gains in high work-from-home (and better-paid) sectors, now just 1.6% below pre-pandemic employment. After initial slow rebound, now moving back to baseline.— Jed Kolko (@JedKolko) June 4, 2021
In low work-from-home sectors, jobs still way below pre-pandemic baseline. pic.twitter.com/6zC3RBfek9
Attracting workers is no longer as simple as paying them more $. "Work" is going to have to be more compatible with "life" from now on. The #labormarket will be forever transformed by the #pandemic experience. In my mind, this is a huge silver lining. https://t.co/qoaE8WZiVv— Diane Lim (@economistmom) June 4, 2021
The 35K hotel jobs added last month is a decline from the +54K seen in April — *not* what the hotel industry needs before travel demand is slated to surge this summer. Hotel unemployment increased to 16.1% from 13.8%. @BLS_gov— Cameron Sperance (@CameronSperance) June 4, 2021
I’m in “most” https://t.co/cfC4sqLjj7— Jed Kolko (@JedKolko) June 4, 2021
GOLDMAN SACHS: "With unemployment top-up payments winding down in half of states this month and ending entirely in September, we believe the April and May jobs numbers understate both labor demand and the pace of job growth possible later this year."— James Pethokoukis (@JimPethokoukis) June 4, 2021