United States Economy Gains 339,000 Jobs in May 2023
May 2023 US Jobs Report

United States Economy Gains 339,000 Jobs in May 2023

Defying expectations once again, the United States economy managed to add a significant number of jobs last month.

About the May 2023 jobs report:

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economy gained 339,000 jobs in May 2023. That’s far higher than the 190,000 figure that economists projected. What’s more, April’s jobs number was adjusted upwards, climbing to 294,000 from 253,000. Additionally, while March’s jobs figure was originally announced to be 236,000, that was adjusted downward in April’s release and then up to 217,000 in this latest BLS report.

Despite the increase in jobs, the unemployment rate climbed from 3.4% in April to 3.7% in May. This marks its highest point since October 2022.

Turning to wages, average hourly earnings increased by 11¢ in May to reach $33.44. This marks an increase of 0.3% from April and a 4.3% year-over-year gain. At the same time, April’s consumer price index update shows an inflation rate of 4.9% from April 2022.

What they’re saying:

Commenting on this month’s report, Nationwide chief economist Kathy Bostjancic told Marketwatch, “The continued strength in employment pushes back the start of a prospective recession but does not eliminate that likelihood.” Bostjancic continued, “And if the economy remains too hot to meaningfully slow inflation, the Fed will simply raise rates higher, still a path towards a downturn.”

Meanwhile, ZipRecruiter chief economist Julia Pollack noted the rising unemployment rate as a potential sign, stating, “Usually, economists put more stock in the establishment survey, because it is based on a larger sample and is less volatile. But the household survey has been more sensitive to the start of economic downturns.”

My thoughts:

There’s no question that the United States economy post-pandemic lockdown has been a confusing beast. Unfortunately, this strong report does little to ease the confusion as Americans continue to brace for a recession that’s been teased for years now. Adding to the confusion is the fact that the stock market rallied today despite the better-than-expected numbers (usually, such news is met with fears of higher rates and, thus, selloffs). On that note, while it seems like the Fed will hold off on another round of rate increases for now, that could always change.

Ultimately, while it’s worth keeping an eye on these monthly reports, the conflicting signs along with the revisions that each month brings mean that those looking for economic clarity will have to zoom out from these singular snapshots.

Author

Kyle Burbank

Head Writer ~ Fioney
Kyle is the head writer for Fioney. He is a personal finance nerd, constantly looking for new apps and services to test and incorporate into his own financial game plan. In addition to his role at Fioney, he's written for other publications including Born2Invest, Lifehack, and Laughing Place, as well as his own site Money@30. He also creates personal finance and travel-related videos for Fioney's YouTube channel, which has garnered more than 2 million views. Currently, Kyle resides in Springfield, Missouri with his wife of 10 years. Together, they enjoy traveling (including visiting Disney Parks around the world), dining, and playing with their dog Rigby.

Other Articles by Kyle Burbank

"The Unbanking of America" Book Review

In her new book " The Unbanking of America: How the New Middle Class Survives" author Lisa Servon looks at everything from the payday loan industry to FinTech while also discussing the changing economics of the middle class.
Charlie and SpeedBump logos

Charlie Introduces SpeedBump Fraud Protection Feature

A FinTech that helps prevent adults from falling victim to scams and fraud is adding a new feature to further that cause. About SpeedBump: Today, Charlie announced the launch of its SpeedBump feature. This tool combines alerts, pauses, and real-time education to help protect older adults who may be vulnerable to scams and fraud. SpeedBump may be activated when Charlie customers take certain actions, such as adding a payee, making...
AMEX card in the middle of a restaurant table full of food

American Express to Acquire Tock from Squarespace

American Express is expanding its dining platform with not one but two acquisitions. About the acquisitions: Today, Amex announced that it will be acquiring the restaurant reservation service Tock from Squarespace (who purchased the company in 2021). The purchase is expected to be for $400 million in cash but is subject to closing conditions, customary adjustments, and regulatory approval. Amex also notes that, as part of the deal with Squarespace,...
The "Email" field is empty, you must enter some text to proceed.The text you entered in the "Email" field appears to be invalid, please edit it and try again
Get the Latest News Delivered to Your Inbox

A Guide to Building Credit and Increasing Your Credit Scores

When it comes to credit, there’s some good news. The average credit score in the United States has been steadily rising in recent years, coming in at 715 in 2023. That may be because, today, consumers not only have more ways to access their credit reports and scores than ever before but also because there are an increasing number of options that Americans have for building credit in the first...

2024 SoFi Checking and Savings Review

Ever since I started taking an interest in the FinTech sector, one company whose name I’ve seen pop up over and over again is SoFi. Lately it seems as though that theme has been sent into overdrive as the company has not only become a household name thanks to its stadium naming rights deal but also because of the company’s continued product expansions. The most interesting development in my mind...
Brim logo

Brim Financial Raises $85 Million as It Eyes Global Expansion

Toronto-based FinTech infrastructure startup Brim Financial has announced a new funding round. About the round: Brim has revealed an $85 million round. The Series C was led by EDC Investments while new investor Vistara Growth and returning investors White Owl Group, Epic Ventures, and Zions Bank also participated. To date, the company has now raised $110 million including a Series B in 2021. According to Brim, the latest funding will...
Chase Freedom Flex card

Chase Reveals Q2 2024 Freedom 5%(+) Bonus Categories

Chase has announced its bonus category picks for the second quarter of 2024 — including some interesting twists. About the categories: As April approaches, Chase has revealed what categories Freedom and Freedom Flex cardholders can earn bonuses on. From April 1st through June 30th, customers can earn 5% (or more) in three categories: Amazon.com, Hotels, and Restaurants. Similar to how Chase embraced a "New Year, New Me" theme last quarter,...
Rent Day

Bilt Announces Home Collection Deal for May 2024 Rent Day

For May's Rent Day, Bilt is offering a deal that will allow members to decrease their rent bill while also adding to their home decor. About the Home Collection offer: Bilt has crafted a unique Rent Day offer for May 2024. Through the 1st, when Bilt members redeem their points toward rent payments, they'll receive the same number of points to be used toward Bilt Home Collection items. To take...