“The job market continues to make progress with 551,000 net new additions in May. Another 7 million jobs are still needed to get us back to pre-pandemic conditions. Construction jobs got a boost of 4,400 from homebuilding but were lower by 2,500 for residential general contractors. More lumber is needed but there were 1,100 fewer workers in the logging industry. In commercial real estate, there were 500 more jobs in construction of buildings but a reduction of 16,800 of general contractors. For better or worse, there are a record-high number of REALTOR® members at over 1.5 million as of May, as more newcomers are giving the career a try in a hot and fiercely competitive industry.
Though the job market is not fully back to normal, total production in the country is already at 100% compared to pre-pandemic levels. Worker productivity has risen, and companies want to hire more workers. There are 8 million job openings currently, which is even higher than in the months before the pandemic when 7 million “help wanted” signs were posted. At the state level, Utah and Idaho have more jobs now compared to pre-pandemic. Montana and South Dakota look to join that rank in a month or two. By the end of the year, around 30 states should be in positive territory.”