Dallas Fed survey points to possible weak May job growth
By Howard Schneider
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Dallas Fed survey meant to track U.S. employment trends pointed to potentially weak job growth in May, a sign that bottlenecks in the labor market may be continuing.
The online survey conducted the week of May 9 through 15 showed the estimated employment rate among adults dipped to 71.1% from 71.8% in the April survey, with unemployment rising and a drop in the share of adults either working or looking for work.
The statistics in the "Real Time Population Survey" are not meant to duplicate exactly the monthly survey of households conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to estimate the U.S. unemployment rate.
But it uses questions that closely track that survey, and is timed to provide a mid-month estimate of national employment trends. It was developed because of the pandemic in an effort to give officials more frequent updates on the state of the labor market.
It registered a big jump in March, when the economy ended up adding nearly a million new jobs, and dipped in April when job growth disappointed at just 266,000.
The May outcome will be watched closely for signs that workers are ready to move off the sidelines into the record number of new jobs posted by companies.
JPMorgan economists have estimated the U.S. will add about 488,000 new positions next month, still below the million or more per month that Fed officials and others were expecting as the economy ramps up.
(Reporting by Howard Schneider; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)
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