Dawit Kebede

CUNA research: Consumer demand continues to boost job growth

June 6, 2022

CUNA Senior Economist Dawit Kebede issued the following statement in response to the Labor Department’s May Employment Situation:   

“Nonfarm employment increased in May, continuing large gains from previous months. The unemployment rate remains much closer to a pre-pandemic rate of 3.6%, which indicates strong consumer demand for goods and services despite the Federal Reserve starting to tighten its monetary policy. 

“Labor force participation has increased slightly by 330,000 in May, but it is still significantly lower than pre-pandemic levels. The labor demand and supply imbalance is still a concern, particularly in areas where there are more vacant jobs available than unemployed people. 

“The rate of hourly wage increase slowed down to an annualized rate of 3.6% in the previous two months. This lowers the inflationary pressure that could possibly come from a continued wage increase in a low labor supply environment and it reduces the probability of a wage-inflation spiral.”