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CUNA Senior Economist Dawit Kebede issued the following statement in response to the Labor Department’s April Employment Situation:
“The economy added more jobs in April than expected fueled by employment gains across several sectors. Leisure and hospitality added more jobs as consumer demand for travel and recreation continues to increase as COVID fear lessen.
“The labor force participation rate has declined 0.2 percentage points compared to the previous month, indicating a slight decrease in labor supply. Participation is expected to go up if the pandemic becomes less of a health concern. Strong demand for hiring, coupled with low labor supply, continues to increase wages, adding more inflationary pressure. A persistent imbalance in labor demand and supply may lead to a wage-inflation spiral.
“Strong job gains and a low unemployment rate implies that consumer demand and spending will continue to be strong. Consumer spending drives two-thirds of economic activity.”