U.S. Economy Improves from COVID Lows Boosted by Bars & Restaurants

U.S. Economy Improves from COVID Lows Boosted by Bars & Restaurants

Total non-farm payroll employment increased by +2.5 million in May led by a recovery in Leisure and Hospitality. The biggest driver was bars and restaurants (“Food Services and Drinking Establishments”), which added +1.4 million jobs and accounted for 56% of total non-farm payroll additions.

Non-farm employment in May improved sequentially and was 13% below February levels. Here are the numbers:

In May, employment in Leisure and Hospitality increased by +1.2 million. Employment in food services and drinking establishments led the recovery and increased by +1.4 million. Food services and drinking establishments suffered a combined -6.1 million employment decline in March and April. Employment in the accommodation industry fell in May (-148,000) and has declined by -1.1 million since February. We expect an uptick in hotel bankruptcies without a near-term robust return of the business traveler.

Construction employment increased +464,000 in May compared to April’s decline of -995,000. Specialty trade contractors (+325,000) led the Construction recovery. Employment gains also occurred in construction of buildings (+105,000), primarily in residential building.

Employment increased by +424,000 in Education and Health Services in May, after a decrease of -2.6 million in April. Dentists (+245,000), offices of other health practitioners (+73,000), and offices of physicians (+51,000).

In May, employment in Retail trade rose by +368,000, after a loss of -2.3 million in April. Read the full BLS press release here: https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm