May 2023 Jobs Report Recap
Posted by Melissa Meunier on Fri, May 12, 2023 @ 02:00 PM

The jobs market remains resilient even as the U.S. economy slowed through recession worries, interest rate hikes, tech and large company layoffs, and banking sector instability. More workers are entering the labor force and the participation rate for workers aged 25 to 54 is the highest since March 2008. Unemployment remains low, even though the pace of hiring is gradually cooling. Workers can still find jobs and job losses dropped in April.

The Numbers*:

  • The unemployment rate declined to 3.4%, beating the estimate of 3.6% and tying for the lowest level since 1969.
  • 253,000 jobs were added in April, soundly beating the Wall Street estimate of 180,000.
  • Average hourly earnings continued to rise – 0.5% in April – showing stronger growth than expected. Wages are 4.4% higher than a year ago.
  • The number of job openings decreased to 9.6M.
  • Hires and total separations changed little at 6.1M and 5.9M, respectively. Within separations, quits (3.9M) changed little, while layoffs and discharges (1.8M) increased from 1.5M.
  • The labor force participation rate remained unchanged at 62.6%.
  • April vs. March: March job gains were revised by 70K, down to 248,000.
  • Additionally, February was further revised down by 70K to 165K.

Industry Trends:

  • Professional and business services led the job gains by adding 43,000 jobs, followed by health care (+ 40K), leisure and hospitality (31K), and social assistance (+25k). Finance & Government each added 23K.
  • Construction added 15K jobs, reversing a slight decrease in March and resisting a pronounced slowdown.
  • Manufacturing was also positive, adding 11K jobs, as did retail, adding 7,700 jobs.

Interesting Changes:

  • April is the 28th straight month of solid job growth.
  • Prime working-age adults (25-54) are back in the workforce at rates not seen since before the great recession.
  • The unemployment rate is below 5% across all racial and ethnic groups, with Blacks having the highest unemployment at 4.7% between groups and a record low and marked narrowing of disparity.
  • Consumer spending continues to shift away from goods towards experiences and outings.
  • Leisure and Hospitality continue to face labor challenges to meet demand.
    • The industry has added an average of 73K monthly jobs over the last six months. However, it is still below pre-pandemic numbers by 400,000.

CLICK HERE to get the latest Jobs Report!

* Above represents April 2023 Data


Topics: Labor Market

Latest Posts