'It Is a Miss': Employment Numbers Fall Short Again in May Jobs Report

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Posted: Jun 04, 2021 11:30 AM
'It Is a Miss': Employment Numbers Fall Short Again in May Jobs Report

Source: AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly report Friday detailing the uptick in Americans returning to work, though the numbers are still lower than expected. 

Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 559,000 in May, bringing the unemployment rate down 0.3 percentage points to 5.8 percent. Noteworthy workforce gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, public and private education, and healthcare and social assistance. The total number of unemployed persons fell 496,000 to 9.3 million. 

While it’s good to see Americans getting back to work, the general consensus projected was closer to 670,000, a whopping 100,000 more jobs than what manifested last month. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as only 266,000 new jobs were created in April while the initial consensus foreshadowed nearly 1 million.

CNN’s John Berman described the May job report as a “miss” during this morning’s segment. “It is lower than what economists were expecting,” he said on air. 

As some unemployment benefit recipients are earning more from not working, many Americans have not returned to work since the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic caused nationwide lockdowns in March 2020, as Matt explained here.

“It's common sense. If you pay people more to not work, they won’t go back to work. There’s no incentive, and that’s what’s happening thanks to the policies of Joe Biden... Biden and his people say their unemployment benefits policy doesn’t disincentivize work. It does. A University of Chicago study found that 42 percent of those on unemployment are earning more now than when they were working full-time. Gee—I’m sure those people are just eager to get back into the workforce, right?"

Until the government starts rolling back unemployment benefits, it's likely Americans will continue to avoid returning to the workforce and we'll see economists continue to miss the mark in coming months.