The economy generated 138,000 jobs in May, marking the 80th consecutive month of job growth, though Friday’s number represented a downshift in the pace of job creation. The unemployment rate was 4.3% for the month.
The May jobs numbers are a disappointment, especially after following a robust jobs report for April. Economists were expecting a nonfarm payrolls gain of 185,000 in May alongside a steady unemployment rate of 4.4% and a 0.2% increase in average hourly earnings.
Employment in health care rose 24,000 in May, with mining adding 7,000 jobs, and professional and business adding 38,000 positions. Employment in food services and drinking places also showed increases of 30,000.
Among other data, the closely watched labor force participation rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 62.7% in May. The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.4 hours in May. Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose last month by 4 cents to $26.22.
Even though the jobs report did not meet expectations, the May figure was still strong enough to absorb new workers entering the labor force, based on Fed projections. The job figures point to a likely increase in the Federal Reserve’s benchmark rate when the Fed meets later this month.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed data released on June 2 in the Bureau of Labor Statistics monthly report, “Employment Situation Summary.” Data by each of the breakouts listed here are published monthly by the BLS. The amount of time people have spent unemployed, average wages, and weekly hours worked, also came from the BLS.
These are the numbers behind the April jobs report.