The number doesn’t include the 6.6 million who were “not actively looking for a job during the last 4 weeks or were unavailable to take a job.”
The economy saw 559,000 more jobs in May and a drop in the unemployment rate. However, economists predicted 671,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate likely fell due to a surplus in jobs.
Good: The economy added a healthy dose of jobs.
Bad: People do not want to work.
The unemployment rate decreased by 0.3% to 5.8%. The unemployed fell by 496,000 to 9.3 million.
So 9.3 million people are still unemployed. But, first, let’s look at the labor participation rate (emphasis theirs):
The labor force participation rate was little changed at 61.6 percent in May and has remained within a narrow range of 61.4 percent to 61.7 percent since June 2020. The participation rate is 1.7 percentage points lower than in February 2020. The employment-population ratio, at 58.0 percent, was also little changed in May but is up by 0.6 percentage point since December 2020. However, this measure is 3.1 percentage points below its February 2020 level.
Another interesting nugget (again, emphasis theirs):
In May, the number of persons not in the labor force who currently want a job was essentially unchanged over the month at 6.6 million but is up by 1.6 million since February 2020. These individuals were not counted as unemployed because they were not actively looking for work during the last 4 weeks or were unavailable to take a job.
The last sentence: “not actively looking for a job during the last 4 weeks or were unavailable to take a job.”
Gee, maybe it’s because the government is paying people to stay at home?
Those who were unavailable to take a job could be women forced to stay home because unions kept schools closed?
The unemployment rate for adult women and adult men hardly changed in May. Men’s rate is 5.9%, and women’s rate is 5.4%.
The job reports are too vague. I need more details:
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.
Nick Bunker, economic research director for North America at the jobs site Indeed, said those constraints are likely to ease in coming months as additional Americans become vaccinated, schools more fully open and the federal supplement ends broadly in September. Taking those factors together, the labor market could reach an inflection point in early fall because more workers will likely be available, Mr. Bunker said.
“It’s a bit like a rocket where takeoff has been slightly delayed, but takeoff will still happen,” he said.
A few states with Republican governors said they would stop “the federal supplement to unemployment benefits earlier than the scheduled expiration.” They hope it pushes people to return to work.
But some jobs have changed how they operate:
Carol Galle, chief executive of Special D Events in Detroit, said she recently started efforts to recruit two or three new workers for her events-planning business. Activity dried up at the company last year as conferences, trade shows and other events were canceled because of the pandemic. Ms. Galle said inquiries for her company’s services have picked up again with the economy’s reopening.
Ms. Galle said she has found it challenging to hire currently because many events professionals moved on to other forms of work during last year’s economic downturn. Other potential workers, she said, are requesting higher pay compared with before the pandemic because the work has become more challenging. For instance, planners must coordinate virtual events that are technically complex or events that have both virtual and in-person components.
“People in my industry understand that the job has changed and they need to have additional skills and they want to be compensated,” Ms. Galle said. “They’re worth it. It’s just a matter of being able to still run my business profitably and pay people what they’re worth.”
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