US adds 559,000 jobs in May, unemployment falls to 5.8% | Business and Economy News


Hiring in the United States picked up in May after a shockingly disappointing read in April, but the number of jobs created was still on the lower end of expectations. 

As jobs reports go, this one is underwhelming.

Hiring in the United States picked up in May after a shockingly disappointing read in April, but the number of jobs created was still on the lower end of expectations.

The economy added 559,000 jobs last month, pulling the unemployment rate down to 5.8 percent.

The number of unemployed workers fell by nearly half a million to 9.3 million.

While joblessness is moving in the right direction, it is still well off pre-pandemic levels, when the unemployment rate was 3.5 percent and the number of unemployed persons stood at 5.7 million.

Despite that yawning gap, there are millions of jobs going begging in the US right now. Increasing vaccination rates and rollbacks of pandemic restrictions are unleashing pent-up consumer demand for goods and services, prompting businesses to ramp up operations in earnest.

Nearly half of small business owners –  some 48 percent – reported unfilled job openings last month, the National Federation of Independent Businesses said on Thursday. May marked the fourth consecutive month the guage has shattered records and was 26 points higher than the 48-year historical reading of 22 percent.

Economists and policymakers are divided over why in a nation awash in unemployed workers, businesses are bereft of eager job hunters.

Some Republicans are blaming the $300 federal weekly top-up to state unemployment benefits for disincentivizing the unemployed to find jobs.

Twenty-five states led by Republican governors have announced plans to withdraw from federal unemployment benefit programmes, which include the weekly top-up.

But many economists believe there are other factors at play.

Some point to bottlenecks forming as millions of businesses reopen and expand operations at once. A lack of childcare options for working parents and fear of contracting COVID-19 are also believed to be keeping the unemployed on the sidelines.

 

 

 

 





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