Ball State University economist Michael Hicks says Friday’s jobs report continues to point towards a slower than expected recovery, even though national unemployment dipped to 5.8%, down from 6.1% the previous month.
The U.S. Department of Labor says job growth in May totaled 559,000 new jobs. Analysts had expected payrolls to climb 671,000 last month.
Hicks, who is director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at BSU says more than half the increase came in the leisure and hospitality sector which continues to lead the recovery.
Wages in hospitality and tourism rose by 6.4%, which Hicks suggests businesses are responding to perceived labor shortages.
Hicks says at the current pace of job growth, the U.S. will not reach pre-pandemic employment levels until early 2023.