Around 390,000 jobs were added in the US in May, according to the latest jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics released Friday.
The highest sector adding jobs was leisure and hospitality, which tacked on 84,000 positions, though that’s still well below pre-pandemic levels. That was followed by professional and business services (75,000), transportation and warehousing (47,000) and construction (36,000).
May’s number was better than the 328,000 new jobs economists predicted. But they also predicted unemployment would decrease slightly, and it stayed steady at 3.6%, or around 6 million Americans.
That’s near record lows, and it’s still not meeting businesses’ demand: There are nearly two open jobs for every available worker right now, according to CNBC.
Part of that could be wages: Average hourly earnings went up by 10 cents in May, less than economists predicted, though wages are up a little over 5% from last May.
Those not looking for jobs or holding part-time positions edged up to 7.1%. The labor force participation rate still hasn’t climbed back to its pre-pandemic levels, but rose in May to 62.3%.
Among racial groups, Asian Americans had the lowest unemployment rate, at 2.4%, while Black Americans held the highest, at 6.2%.
What about Iowa?
Iowa’s May jobs report is slated to be released June 16, but Iowa Workforce Development said 3,300 jobs were created in April, and unemployment was at 3%.
Progress Iowa, however, said that wasn’t good enough, pointing to job loss in March, and noting the 2-for-1 jobs to worker ratio in Iowa as well.
“Iowa’s job growth continues to lag behind the rest of the country,” said Matt Sinovic, Executive Director of Progress Iowa. “This should be a sign to Governor (Kim) Reynolds that her policies are not working.”
“She has focused on cutting unemployment benefits and forcing Iowans into jobs that don’t pay enough, all in an effort to give the wealthy and big businesses massive tax breaks,” he said.
By Amie Rivers
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