This was surprising.
Data released on Friday (June 3) by the Labor Department showed the U.S. had added 390,000 jobs in May, with the unemployment rate remaining at 3.6 percent.
Friday’s data was in line with economists’ expectations, with the employment boom slowing from earlier in the year. Economists projected job growth at 350,000, with the jobless rating decreasing to 3.5.percent, a level last reached in February 2020.
Economists projected job growth to slow in May, considering the U.S. had added 2 million jobs despite skyrocketing inflation, high gas prices, rising interest rates, and diminishing fiscal stimulus.
Pundits have also become more concerned that there will be heading into a recession next year, although employment and consumer spending have continued to grow.
Glassdoor’s senior economist, Daniel Zhao, said in a Friday analysis, “Despite the slight cooldown, the tight labor market is clearly sticking around and is shrugging off fears of a downturn. We continue to see signs of a healthy and competitive job market, with no signs of stepping on the brakes yet.”
Policymakers were hoping May would bring balance between the record number of job openings and a labor force still smaller than it was before the start of the pandemic.
With two jobs for every unemployed person, businesses are vying for workers, driving wages up and increasing demand for goods and services.
Wages also grew at a slower pace in May, falling to 5.2 percent from 5.5 percent in April.