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Latest Jobs Report Has Good News, Bad News, No News

A new jobs report reveals that the country added 138,000 new jobs in May, much lower than expected. Even worse, the job reports from March and April were revised downwards as well.

However, the U.S. unemployment rate also fell to 4.3%, its lowest rate since 2001. That also happens to be the exact unemployment rate in New York state.

On May 23, the New York Department of Labor released local unemployment figures, which showed the state added 68,000 jobs between April 2016 and April 2017. In cities like Albany the unemployment rate dipped as low as 4%, while Syracuse was at 4.7%, Rochester at 4.6%, and Buffalo-Niagra Falls at 5%.

And according to The New York Federal Reserve’s Business Leaders Survey, the New York service economy is growing particularly fast. The New York Fed rates certain sectors of the state economy, and many indicators are trending positive so far this year.

In fact, business activity in the state has experienced its fifth consecutive month in a row of growth. That’s great for the state’s service sector in particular, which is driving much of this growth.

The service sector has remained at a positive 6.6, and the business climate is currently at 2.4. That means the business leaders surveyed by the fed believe that the overall business atmosphere is slightly better than normal. The Federal Reserve also identified a positive employment trend, mirroring the statistics just released by the NY Department of Labor.

According to The New York Times Upshot blog, the country may be inching closer to full employment.

That could put pressure on companies to step up recruiting efforts as the labor market tightens. As of June 2015, 2.7 million people were voluntarily leaving their jobs each month. However, with fewer job openings, people might feel trapped in their current positions, while the millions of people out of the workforce will remain so.

Fortunately, the latest national jobs report found that wages finally experienced a slight increase. Nationwide, stagnant wages and low labor force participation have been a drag on the economy.

While the latest jobs report contains some good news, there’s little sign those negative indicators will change anytime soon.

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