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May 2024 Jobs Report

On Friday June 7th, the U.S. Labor Department released their May Employment Report, showing the market remains very strong and inflationary pressures persist. We are seeing job and wage growth remain truly robust, and the rise in unemployment, particularly due to labor force re-entrants not finding jobs, suggests some loosening at the margins. 

Key Insights:

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The May Employment report exceeds expectations in job creation/payroll growth. Forecasts were for 180,000 new payrolls in May, while the actual number was 272,000 added. 

Growth was seen across 9 of the 11 industries, however the majority of growth was in Education & Health Services - gaining 86,000.


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The unemployment rate rose 0.1% to 4%, particularly due to labor force re-entrants not finding jobs, while forecasts were for no change. This is the second month of an unexpected 0.1% increase, and the uptick ends a 27-month stretch of below 4% - the longest period since the 1960's. The overall Labor Force Participation Rate unexpectedly declined 0.2% to 62.5%. 

The gap between open jobs and available workers closes yet again with 1.5 million more job openings than workers as compared to a 2 million gap in April.

While this gap is slowly closing, it is important to remember that today's market continues to favor the job seeker. Lengthy interview processes, lack of flexibility and less competitive compensation can remove employers from a candidate's consideration very quickly. Employers must be more in tune than ever with what their employees and candidates want and need in order to attract and retain the talent they need.

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Overall, May's report still shows a strong labor market. It is important to remember that one month does not make a trend and hiring and unemployment still remain healthy by historic standards. There is still tough competition for top talent in the labor market and if you need talent to serve your clients or grow your business, the time to start searching is NOW!

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