The Kansas City Fed Labor Market Conditions Indicators (LMCI) suggest the level of activity continued to edge up in May while momentum was little changed. The level of activity indicator increased by 0.17 in May from 0.30 to 0.47. With strong increases in February, March, and April as well, the level of activity has increased 0.89 over the last four months from −0.42 in January. Meanwhile, the momentum indicator was little changed in May at 0.54. Both indicators remained above their longer-run averages in May.
These readings likely do not fully describe the state of the labor market at the end of May, as many of the input data series reflect conditions early in the month. In particular, the series do not include the effects of continued vaccine administration or the loosening of many states’ COVID-19 restrictions that occurred later in the month. For example, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Household Survey are from the reference period of May 9 through May 15. Additionally, the most recent data from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) are for April. Therefore, labor market developments in the latter half of May, including the labor market response to recent COVID-19 developments, will likely show up in the June 2021 LMCI readings.