In May, the overall unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.6 percent, as reported by the US Department of Labor. It was 3.8 percent a year ago in May 2018. May’s unemployment number matches the lowest rate since December 1969.
The civilian labor force participation rate remained steady at 62.8 percent. The participation rate has had minimal change since September of 2013.
The employment-population ratio also remained unchanged at 60.6 percent. The employment-population ratio has been trending upwards since July 2011.
In May, the unemployment rate for individuals with at least a bachelor’s degree did not change, remaining at 2.1 percent.
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 75,000 in May. The payroll employment numbers for both March and April 2019 were adjusted, resulting in gains that were 75,000 less than previously reported. Payroll employment gains have averaged 151,000 over the last three months.
Some details directly from the BLS report:
otal 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.
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.
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.