May produces weaker-than-expected employment report

The employment report came in weaker than anticipated in May with an increase well below the average monthly gain of 181,000.

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 138,000 in May, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This was considerably less than ADP’s predicted 253,000 increase, and down from the previous month’s increase of 211,000.

The unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons held steady in May at 4.3% and 6.9 million respectively.

The labor force participation rate decreased slightly, falling 0.2 percentage points to 62.7% in May, however this number has shown no clear trend over the past 12 months, according to the employment report.

  • Here are some of the significant changes in the job market in May:
  • Leisure and hospitality added 30,000 jobs
  • Employment in health care increased by 24,000
  • Mining increased by 7,000

Employment in professional and business services increased by 38,000

Employment in other major industries including construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities and government showed little change over the month.

Hourly earnings continue to increase, rising $0.04 in May to an average $26.22 per hour. This is up 2.5%, or $0.63, from last year.

Total jobs added in both March and April were both revised down to 50,000 jobs and 174,000 jobs respectively.

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