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The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index declined slightly in May to 106.4 and follows an upwardly revised 108.6 value for April. The Present Situation Index, which is based on consumers’ sentiment toward current business conditions and the labor market, decreased to 149.6 from a revised 152.9 in April. “The decline in the Present Situation Index was driven solely by a perceived softening in labor market conditions. By contrast, views of current business conditions—which tend to move ahead of trends in jobs—improved,” said Lynn Franco, senior director at the Conference Board. According to the index, consumers are less likely to make vacation plans or purchase cars, homes, and major appliances. The expectations index, based on consumers’ six-month outlook for income, business, and labor market conditions dropped to 77.5 in May from 79.0 the previous month. The share of consumers that said jobs are currently plentiful decreased to 51.8% down from 54.8%. Consumers that said jobs are currently hard to get bumped up to 12.5% from 10.1%.
The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS reported 11.4 million job openings as of the last day of April, 455K less than the upwardly revised record of 11.855M in March. Openings continue to outpace hires with employers hiring 6.6M people in April. The hires rate was little changed at 4.4%. Industries contributing to the decrease include healthcare and social assistance (-266K), retail trade (-162K), and accommodations and food services (-113K). Offsetting the decrease were increases in transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+97K), nondurable goods manufacturing (+67K), and durable goods manufacturing (+53K). The number of people who voluntarily left their jobs in April was down slightly to 4.4M. This marks the eleventh consecutive month that more than 4M people quit or changed their jobs. The number of people who quit their jobs for other opportunities made up 2.9% of the workforce in April. Quitting rose in real estate and rental and leasing (+37K) but decreased in state and local government education (-19K). Layoffs and discharges dropped to a record low of 1.2M. There have been 78.0M hires and 71.6M separations over the past 12 months, resulting in a net employment gain of 6.4M.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 390,000 jobs were added in May, as the unemployment rate stayed at 3.6% with 6.0M unemployed. February 2020’s pre-pandemic reading was 3.5% with 5.7M unemployed. April’s payrolls were revised (+8K) to 436K. The May increase in payrolls was broad with the biggest gains concentrated in leisure and hospitality (+84K) and professional and business services (+75K). There were also notable job gains in transportation and warehousing (+47K), construction (+36K), and manufacturing (+17K). Retail trade payrolls declined (-6.1K), but are still 159K above pre-pandemic levels. Average hourly earnings increased 0.3% in May, mirroring the same reading in April. At $31.95 average hourly earnings are up 5.2% from a year ago, as compared to an inflation rate of 8.2%. The labor force participation rate or the proportion of working-age Americans who have a job or are looking for one edged up to 62.3% from 62.2% in May. Currently, there are 6.0M unemployed and 11.4M job openings.
Thursday June 9 – Initial Jobless Claims
Friday June 10 – Core CPI (MoM) (May)
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