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Special Report

Employment Research Brief

June 2024

Hiring Undeterred by High Interest Rates;
Office and Restaurant Spaces Benefit

Labor market moving closer to equilibrium even amid strong hiring. Total employment increased by 272,000 in May, coming in above the average monthly gain year-to-date. Despite this uptick in job creation, there are several signs that overall labor demand is cooling and moving closer in line with labor supply. Nearly half of last month’s hiring was concentrated in just two main employment sectors, which includes roles in government. It is likely that public sector staffing needs will ebb in the months ahead as budget shortfalls are addressed. The unemployment rate also inched up 10 basis points from April to 4.0 percent in May, its highest mark since January 2022. This shift followed an April decline in the number of available positions to 8.06 million open jobs, the lowest level since February 2021. Equating to 1.2 available roles for every job seeker, this is the closest the margin has been since June 2021.

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