May Job Report and April Job Opening and Turnover Survey

With this morning’s numbers, May’s Job Report and April’s Job Opening Survey have come in as a “mixed bag,” according to many financial experts.  While there was a bump up in the wages of working Americans, unemployment also rose slightly.  For those looking for clarity in the economy’s future, all were sadly disappointed.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in May, the U.S. economy added 272,000 new Nonfarm payroll jobs.  Now, the stock market is in a state of flux due to the mixed indicators coming in the report.  May’s job opening report, along with April’s revised numbers, saw unemployment increased slightly to 4% for the last month, with April having 10,000 fewer jobs created than previously thought.  This means that unemployment is at its highest rate in two years.  The number of jobs in the Transportation and Warehouse industries showed almost no changes in May, a surprise to many.

April's Job Opening and Turnover Survey

At the end of April, job openings did not change drastically from 8.1 million jobs.  Job openings decreased for the Health Care and Social Assistance industries by 204,000.  State and Local Government and Education jobs also saw a decrease by roughly 59,000.  Private Educational Services had one of the few increases; jobs grew by 50,000. 

The quit rate saw an increase of 3.5 million, while layoffs stayed roughly the same as March at 1.5 million.  While the Federal Reserve says this will not affect their decision to raise or lower interest rates, rumors are starting to swirl that the country should expect an interest rate increase before the end of the year.   

May's Jobs Report

For the month of May, Non-farm payrolls grew by 272,000.  Experts, who once believed that this was an indication that the economy is finally starting to calm the inflationary spiral it was stuck in, are now concerned that the economy is still hovering close to a recession.  The Federal Reserve seems to be contemplating an increase in interest rates in December of this year, according to some news agencies.  With the unemployment rate rising back up to 4%, its highest since the end of the pandemic, and wages rising slightly, many in the financial industry are now concerned once more of a recession just around the corner.  The labor force participation rate for May, however, decreased slightly to 62.5%. 

Now, coming into the summer of 2024, the Healthcare industry saw another month of large increases in the number of jobs, adding an additional 68,000 jobs in May; this gives them an average monthly gain of 64,000 over the past twelve months.  In Government Employment, new jobs came in at 43,000; there were also large gains in Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (+32,000), Retail Trade (+13,000), and Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services (+10,000).  There were also gains in Leisure and Hospitality (+42,000) and Building Material and Garden Equipment Services (+12,000), which is standard for this time of year.  In a surprising turn, though, Transportation and Warehousing jobs saw no changes for May.  The LZBlog will be studying this further as more reports come out to see if the stagnation in the Transportation and Warehousing industry creates a ripple effect in other areas.


The May Jobs Report and the April Job Opening and Turnover Survey came out this week with new surprises.  While inflation seems to be calming, fears of a recession are forcing the Federal Reserve to consider an interest rate hike before the end of the year.  Stay tuned to the LZ Blog and our Lionzone social media to see!

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Meaghan Goldberg covers recruitment and digital marketing for Lionzone.  A Patterson, GA native, after graduating from both Valdosta State University and Middle Tennessee State University, Meaghan joined Lionzone in 2018 as a digital recruitment strategist before becoming the social media manager.



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