Unemployment Remains Steady as Job Creation Begins to Cool

Roy Maurer By Roy Maurer June 2, 2022
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​States reported that 200,000 workers filed for new unemployment benefits during the week ending May 28. The number of workers continuing to claim unemployment benefits—1.3 million—is well below its pre-pandemic average of 1.7 million.

Jobless claims have remained at or below pre-pandemic levels for months as employers avoid laying off workers in historically high demand. There were roughly two open jobs for every unemployed worker in April.

Meanwhile, job creation is slowing as the economy approaches full employment in the late stages of recovery. Private-sector employers added just 128,000 new jobs in May, according to payroll data from ADP. Small businesses reduced payrolls by 91,000, and leisure and hospitality, the sector which led hiring throughout the recovery, reported just 17,000 new hires.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics will release its employment report—which often differs from ADP's tally—tomorrow.

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