Friday June 4, 2021: Most unemployment numbers drop – but we’re not out of the woods yet
America’s reopening continues in full force with 559,000 jobs added to employers’ payrolls in May, the vast majority coming from the “long-term unemployed” (that is, unemployed for more than one year, mainly victims of the COVID-19 pandemic). BLS, in its monthly Employment status the May 2021 report reads as follows:
“… The number of unemployed has fallen from 496,000 to 9.3 million. These measures are significantly down from their recent highs in April 2020 but remain well above their pre-coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) levels [unemployment levels of] (3.5% and 5.7 million, respectively, in February 2020).
The context: 150,000 jobs added to employers’ payrolls in any given month is considered strong evidence of a healthy and growing US economy. May’s number of nearly 560,000 is extraordinary and would only be seen in a reopening of the economy following a major economic downturn like the COVID-19 pandemic produced. But, the economy is not yet fully open as there are still 3.6 million unemployed people working as of February 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down much of America in mid -March 2020 at a time when we then had the lowest unemployment in the world. Last 50 years. Even though the reopening could support 500,000 new payroll additions each month (as in May) in the United States, please note that it would take 7 months (until the end of 2021) to reduce this unemployment backlog by 3 , 6 million and bring us back to where we were before the pandemic. So while great strides are made each month with more vaccinations and more business reopening, many employees and businesses are still in overwhelming economic pain.
People with disabilities have a slight unemployment increase in May, while all other groups experienced a slight decrease. This information is yet another reminder to employers to initiate or expand recruiting efforts to this group of highly skilled, but severely underutilized, talent.
US Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh also took off the rose-colored glasses to Note,
“… Workers also told me about the challenges they and their families face – finding affordable child care, caring for elderly parents and grandparents, and overcoming the barriers created by decades of inequality. income and inequality based on race and gender. These challenges are also reflected in our employment data, which is why the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan are so important. We need to invest in our workforce and our communities to achieve an inclusive recovery and a competitive economy. “
See the Biden administration fact sheet “Efforts of the Biden-Harris Administration to Support the Full Participation and Equality of Persons with Disabilities”For disability-focused efforts in the first 100 days.