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US unemployment slightly increases despite adding 272,000 jobs

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In May, the U.S. added 272,000 jobs, surpassing the average monthly gain of 232,000 seen in the last year. However, unemployment ticked up slightly from 3.9% to 4.0%, although it remains relatively stable compared to last year’s rate of 3.7%. Job growth was led by industries such as health care, government, hospitality, and professional services. Health care added 68,000 jobs, government added 43,000 jobs, and the leisure and hospitality industry added 42,000 jobs. On the other hand, some industries experienced job losses, with department stores and furniture/home furnishings seeing declines.

Despite the increase in jobs, consumer spending on nonessentials is on the decline, with many planning to cut back on travel, hospitality, and home-related purchases. A McKinsey study revealed that respondents across all income and age groups were less inclined to splurge on purchases in the coming months, except for Gen Zers. Gardening supplies were the only category where consumers expected to spend more. Overall, the outlook on spending is bleak, with inflation continuing to rise and consumers expressing caution.

A study on economic confidence showed that Americans are becoming increasingly discouraged by high interest rates and deteriorating financial health. The Gallup Economic Confidence Index dropped to -34 in May, indicating pessimism about the current economy. Only 22% of Americans viewed the U.S. economy as being in good condition, the lowest percentage since December. Concerns about government issues, immigration, and inflation were highlighted as important problems to address.

Despite economic challenges, Americans’ retirement outlook has improved according to a survey. The Credible Money Expert column can provide advice on finance-related questions to help individuals navigate through financial uncertainties. Overall, with job growth in certain industries, declining consumer spending, economic confidence wavering, and an improved retirement outlook, it is essential for individuals to carefully manage their finances and consider options such as debt consolidation loans to alleviate financial burdens.

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