Small business owners' optimism pulled back slightly during May.
Why it matters: Small businesses were hit hard during the pandemic, but optimism had grown in each of the prior three months. The slight pullback last month appears to stem largely from hiring challenges — offering yet another data point on how labor issues are playing out across the country.
Economic inequality has been exacerbated by the pandemic and left Black women — and potential growth for the broader U.S. economy — even further behind, according to a new report today from S&P Global.
Why it matters: Black women have been hindered by economic disparities in nearly all aspects of American life, particularly when it comes to wage growth and opportunities in school and at work.
Last week’s economic data dump was nothing if not consistent. Spanning the May jobs report, the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book and business activity indicators, the picture that emerged was one of an economy in recovery — albeit slower than some expected, and jammed with labor and supply shortages.
Why it matters: Taken together, the data gives the Fed cover from making any big monetary decisions or changing its course over the next few months.
The pandemic has recalibrated the power dynamics between employers and would-be employees in favor of workers, and this shift "could persist for years," the New York Times reports.
Why it matters: With workers having the upper hand, employers are trying to lure them into the workforce by offering higher wages and more benefits, as well as loosening up the stringent requirements for potential applicants.
The U.S. economy added 559,000 jobs last month, while the unemployment rate fell to 5.8% from 6.1%, the government said on Friday.
Why it matters: Vaxxed America isn't surging back to work as quickly as economists, who had predicted 670,000 new jobs, hoped it would. Still, the total number of jobs in the U.S. rose by a reasonably healthy amount in May — much faster than the anemic growth of 278,000 we saw in April.
Democrats and Republicans are preparing to seize on today’s jobs numbers to argue for — or against — Biden’s proposal for $4 trillion in infrastructure and social safety net spending.
Why it matters: Like early in the Obama administration, the job report is serving as a monthly assessment of the president's economic policies.
Worries about job losses and/or having hours cut and losing income are decreasing across the board but inequality ticked up in May, according to the Morning Consult/Axios Inequality Index.
How it works: The values of the index answer the question, "How differently are U.S. adults with annual incomes below $50,000, between $50,000 and $100,000, and over $100,000 experiencing the economy?"
Vaccine rates are increasing and COVID-19 cases are declining, which is opening up businesses and driving job growth that looks broad, making inequality in actual job losses relatively low, according to the Morning Consult/Axios Inequality Index.
What it means: This data is based on whether or not survey respondents have lost pay or income in the past four weeks, rather than whether they are worried about losing it. This is also represented as standard deviations.
More foreign-born immigrants are moving to the center of the U.S. than in the past, according to a new report by Heartland Forward.
Why it matters: With population growth in the U.S. slower than it has been for the last 100 years, both high-skilled and low-skilled industries across America have come to rely more on immigrants to power their workforces.
Longtime BBC News anchor and correspondent Katty Kay is leaving her post to become senior editor and executive producer, of OZY Media, the digital-first media and entertainment company founded in 2013 by CEO Carlos Watson.
Why it matters: Kay will bring decades of global editorial experience to OZY, which produces dozens of TV shows, podcasts and documentaries across an array of genres.