Friday, June 02, 2017

May Employment Report: 138,000 Jobs, 4.3% Unemployment Rate

by Bill McBride on 6/02/2017 08:43:00 AM

From the BLS:

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 138,000 in May, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in health care and mining.
...
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for March was revised down from +79,000 to +50,000, and the change for April was revised down from +211,000 to +174,000. With these revisions, employment gains in March and April combined were 66,000 less than previously reported.
...
In May, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 4 cents to $26.22. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 63 cents, or 2.5 percent.
emphasis added
Payroll jobs added per monthClick on graph for larger image.

The first graph shows the monthly change in payroll jobs, ex-Census (meaning the impact of the decennial Census temporary hires and layoffs is removed - mostly in 2010 - to show the underlying payroll changes).

Total payrolls increased by 138 thousand in May (private payrolls increased 147 thousand).

Payrolls for March and April were revised down by a combined 66 thousand.

Year-over-year change employmentThis graph shows the year-over-year change in total non-farm employment since 1968.

In May, the year-over-year change was 2.23 million jobs.  This is a decent year-over-year gain.


The third graph shows the employment population ratio and the participation rate.

Employment Pop Ratio, participation and unemployment rates The Labor Force Participation Rate was decreased in May to 62.7%. This is the percentage of the working age population in the labor force.   A large portion of the recent decline in the participation rate is due to demographics.

The Employment-Population ratio decreased to 60.0% (black line).

I'll post the 25 to 54 age group employment-population ratio graph later.

unemployment rateThe fourth graph shows the unemployment rate.

The unemployment rate decreased in May to 4.3%.  This is the lowest unemployment rate since 2001.

This was below expectations of 185,000 jobs, and the previous two months were revised down.  A disappointing report.

I'll have much more later ...