Employers last month added 559,000 jobs on top of 278,000 in April. Those would ordinarily be seen as quite healthy numbers. Yet against the backdrop of record-high job openings and free-spending consumers, forecasters had expected much more hiring. Some economists had envisioned the recovery from the pandemic recession driving monthly job growth of 800,000, 900,000, even 1 million or more.

ExploreUnemployed Georgians will see less financial support, more rules

What explains the shortfall?

Economists point mainly to what they call a short-term mismatch: Companies are posting job openings faster than applicants can respond. After all, many Americans are contending with considerable tumult at home — health issues related to COVID-19, child-care problems with schools slow to reopen, career uncertainty after many jobs permanently vanished over the past 15 months. And some people, earning more from federal and state jobless aid than they…

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