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The Shocking News in the Unemployment Report

Last Friday, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released their May Employment Situation SummaryLeading up to the release, most experts predicted the unemployment rate would jump up to approximately 20% from the 14.7% rate announced last month.

The experts were shocked.

The Wall Street Journal put it this way:

“The May U.S. jobless rate fell to 13.3% and employers added 2.5 million jobs, blowing Wall Street expectations out of the water: Economists had forecast a loss of 8.3 million jobs and a 19.5% unemployment rate.”

In addition, CNBC revealed:

“The May gain was by far the biggest one-month jobs surge in U.S. history since at least 1939.”

Here are some of the job gains by sector:

  • Food Service and Bartenders – 1,400,000
  • Construction – 464,000
  • Education and Health Services – 424,000
  • Retail – 368,000
  • Other Services – 272,000
  • Manufacturing – 225,000
  • Professional Services – 127,000

There’s still a long way to go before the economy fully recovers, as 21 million Americans remain unemployed. That number is down, however, from 23 million just last month. And, of the 21 million in the current report, 73% feel their layoff is temporary. This aligns with a recent Federal Reserve Bank report that showed employers felt 75% of the job losses are temporary layoffs and furloughs.

The Employment Situation Summary was definitely a pleasant surprise, and evidence that the country’s economic turnaround is underway. The data also offers a labor-market snapshot from mid-May, when the government conducted its monthly survey of households and businesses. Many states did not open for business until the second half of May. This bodes well for next month’s jobs report.

Bottom Line

We cannot rejoice over a report that reveals millions of American families are still without work. We can, however, feel relieved that we are headed in the right direction, and much more quickly than most anticipated.

Note: In its original report, the BLS explained that a misclassification error could have occurred over the last 3 months, starting in March of 2020. Readjusting for this error, the unemployment rate would actually show a drop from 19.7% in April to 16.3% in May. Nobody would say the original report of 13.3% unemployment was a good number, nor is the revised 16.3%. What is a positive move for our country and the economy is the significant drop in the rate from April to May, meaning more people are getting jobs than losing them. That’s the key takeaway.

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Jean Becklund is a Luxury Real Estate Agent for EXP Realty. Jean has been living on Maui the past 36 years and has been a licensed real estate agent the past 16 years. Her knowledge of the market is vast. She does not limit her self to one area, she is familiar with resort properties, residential, vacant land, and the process it takes to build a home on Maui. Jean has had first hand experience she bought her first home in 1995 in Maui, owned 3 rental condo's, and designed and built a plantation home in 2005 where she resides today. Jean is the mother to 2 daughters Hayley who is her Broker and business partner and Chloe who is a waitress. Jean's sister Maureen used to tell her of the gentle rain and rainbows when she came to visit in the 1970's, that never left her mind. She moved to Maui in 1987 with a one way ticket and a set of golf clubs, landed her first job at Makena Golf Course and worked in the pro shop. Looking back those were the most precious days in Maui, a simple quiet life. Jean still heads back to Makena for her early morning swims. She loves to golf and joined the hole in 1 club in 2010. She plays pickleball daily, snorkels for sea shells and beach glass, rides her bike and plays her ukulele. Jean is also a pet lover with 1 senior dog and 5 cats. Jean loves her island lifestyle and would love to share her knowledge with you. She has a magnetic smile and infectious laugh, call her today!

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