The New York City skyline in the United States

United States Unemployment May 2023

United States: Job gains beat expectations again in May

Total non-farm payrolls grew by 339,000 in May, beating market expectations of a 195,000 increase. Gains in professional and business services, government, health care, construction, transportation and warehousing, and social assistance underpinned the reading.

However, the unemployment rate rose to 3.7% in May from 3.4% in April, while wage growth slowed and the average hours worked per person declined. As such, while the headline payrolls data is undoubtedly positive, these additional indicators suggest some softness in the labor market. Looking ahead, our panelists see the labor market loosening slightly in the coming quarters on the back of tight monetary policy, with the unemployment rate forecast to move above 4% by Q4.

On the monetary policy implications, Nomura analysts said:

“The large upside surprise in headline payrolls is the main story. However, there were enough confounding details in today’s report that the FOMC doves should be comfortable continuing to support a near-term pause.”

Free sample report

Access essential information in the shortest time possible. FocusEconomics provide hundreds of consensus forecast reports from the most reputable economic research authorities in the world.
Close Left Media Arrows Left Media Circles Right Media Arrows Right Media Circles Arrow Quote Wave Address Email Telephone Man in front of screen with line chart Document with bar chart and magnifying glass Application window with bar chart Target with arrow Line Chart Stopwatch Globe with arrows Document with bar chart in front of screen Bar chart with magnifying glass and dollar sign Lightbulb Document with bookmark Laptop with download icon Calendar Icon Nav Menu Arrow Arrow Right Long Icon Arrow Right Icon Chevron Right Icon Chevron Left Icon Briefcase Icon Linkedin In Icon Full Linkedin Icon Filter Facebook Linkedin Twitter Pinterest