Jeff Fuentes Gleghorn
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its May jobs report, showing that the U.S. added 390,000 new jobs, significantly higher than the 328,000 that had been predicted. Some economists were pleased by the news, with Sophia Koropeckyj saying that “The labor market seems to have shrugged off the headwinds buffeting the economy from higher inflation and interest rates.” She continued to add that “The labor market is heading toward complete recovery from the pandemic.” The BLS report also showed that wages were up by 5.2 percent compared to this time last year, suggesting that these are well-paying jobs. However, the wage increases aren’t keeping up with rising prices. A recent Bureau of Economic Analysis report showed that prices have gone up by more than 6 percent over the last year.
The BLS also released state level data for April, which showed that while unemployment in Michigan is still higher than the national average, the gap is closing. The U.S. unemployment rate has remained steady at 3.6 percent since March, while Michigan has decreased unemployment every month since it reached 4.9 percent in January, down to 4.3 percent unemployment for April. Grand Rapids showed lower unemployment for the third month in a row, with an unemployment rate of 3.1 percent for April. This puts the city ahead of both Michigan and national unemployment rates.