Employment

U.S. Unemployment Rate in May Remains At 3.6%

Total nonfarm payroll employment edged up in May (+75,000), and the unemployment rate remained at 3.6 percent. Employment continued to trend up in professional and business services and in health care.
Employees in an office
U.S. Unemployment Rate in May Remains At 3.6%

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- MAY 2019


Total nonfarm payroll employment edged up in May (+75,000), and the
unemployment rate remained at 3.6 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor
Statistics reported today. Employment continued to trend up in
professional and business services and in health care.

This news release presents statistics from two monthly surveys. The
household survey measures labor force status, including unemployment,
by demographic characteristics. The establishment survey measures
nonfarm employment, hours, and earnings by industry. For more
information about the concepts and statistical methodology used in
these two surveys, see the Technical Note.

Household Survey Data

The unemployment rate remained at 3.6 percent in May, and the number
of unemployed persons was little changed at 5.9 million. (See table
A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men
(3.3 percent), adult women (3.2 percent), teenagers (12.7 percent),
Whites (3.3 percent), Blacks (6.2 percent), Asians (2.5 percent),
and Hispanics (4.2 percent) showed little or no change in May. (See
tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

In May, the number of persons unemployed less than 5 weeks increased
by 243,000 to 2.1 million, following a decline in April. The number
of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more), at 1.3
million, changed little over the month and accounted for 22.4 percent
of the unemployed. (See table A-12.)

Both the labor force participation rate, at 62.8 percent, and the
employment-population ratio, at 60.6 percent, were unchanged in May.
(See table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons
(sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) declined
by 299,000 in May to 4.4 million. These individuals, who would have
preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their
hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs.
Over the past 12 months, the number of involuntary part-time workers
has declined by 565,000. (See table A-8.)

In May, 1.4 million persons were marginally attached to the labor
force, little changed from a year earlier. (Data are not seasonally
adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and
were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the
prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had
not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table
A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 338,000 discouraged workers
in May, little changed from a year earlier. (Data are not seasonally
adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for
work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining
1.1 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in May had
not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family
responsibilities. (See table A-16.)

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment edged up in May (+75,000). Monthly
job gains have averaged 164,000 in 2019, compared with an average gain
of 223,000 per month in 2018. In May, employment continued to trend up
in professional and business services and in health care. (See table
B-1.)

Employment in professional and business services continued to trend up
over the month (+33,000) and has increased by 498,000 over the past 12
months.

Employment in health care continued its upward trend in May (+16,000).
The industry has added 391,000 jobs over the past 12 months.

Construction employment changed little in May (+4,000), following an
increase of 30,000 in April. The industry has added 215,000 jobs over
the past 12 months.

Employment showed little change in May in other major industries,
including mining, manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade,
transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities,
leisure and hospitality, and government.    

In May, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm
payrolls increased by 6 cents to $27.83. Over the year, average hourly
earnings have increased by 3.1 percent. Average hourly earnings of
private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by
7 cents to $23.38 in May. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was
unchanged at 34.4 hours in May. In manufacturing, the average workweek
and overtime hours were unchanged at 40.6 hours and 3.4 hours, respectively.
The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private
nonfarm payrolls edged down by 0.1 hour to 33.6 hours. (See tables B-2
and B-7.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for March was revised down
from +189,000 to +153,000, and the change for April was revised down from
+263,000 to +224,000. With these revisions, employment gains in March and
April combined were 75,000 less than previously reported. (Monthly revisions
result from additional reports received from businesses and government
agencies since the last published estimates and from the recalculation of
seasonal factors.) After revisions, job gains have averaged 151,000 per
month over the last 3 months.



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