Employment Situation Across USA – May 2016 (Household & Establishment)

After months of dormancy, there is finally some news to cheer about for Americans with respect to the unemployment situation in the country. The national Unemployment Rate fell by 0.3 percentage points in May 2016 to clock 4.7 percent with gains of 484,000 jobs during this month. The number of jobless persons in the country at the end of May was 7.4 million.

Healthcare lead the bandwagon by creating the highest jobs during this term while Mining continued to tumble by losing maximum number of jobs. Let’s explore interesting facts from the monthly news release from Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S Department of Labor titled “The Employment Situation – May 2016”.

Unemployment Rate Among Major Workers Groups

  • Adult Men – 4.3%
  • Adult Women – 4.2%
  • Teenagers – 16.0%

The jobless rates for the first two categories fell considerably from April 2016. The Teenage jobless rate continues to cause worry for the government authorities as it has refused to improve over the last quarter or so.

Unemployment Rate Among Ethnic Groups

  • Blacks – 8.2%
  • Asians – 4.1%
  • Whites – 4.1%
  • Hispanics – 5.6%

The number of jobless people in the first two ethnic groups edged up slightly while Whites and Hispanics saw considerable improvement from April 2016. This category has not seen much movement in 2016.

General Highlights

  • At the end of May 2016, jobless workers falling under the category of long-term unemployed (without a job for 27 weeks or more) fell by 178,000 to 1.9 million. Surprisingly, persons falling in this category account for 25.1 percent of the overall numbers.
  • Involuntary part-time workers or employed part-time for economic reasons edged up by 468,000 to clock a whopping 6.4 million during this month. This category includes people who prefer full-time employment, but worked part time due to reasons such as reduction in the hours by the employer.
  • A little over 1.7 million persons were tagged marginally attached to the labor force. This category is designed to include unemployed persons who had not looked for a job in four weeks before the survey.
  • From the classification above, 538,000 persons were tagged discouraged workers since they believe no suitable jobs were available for them at the time of survey.

Employment Data in Various Industries (Top Highlights)

1) With 46,000 jobs, the Healthcare industry created the highest number of jobs during this month. Year on Year, it has created over 487,000 jobs.

  • Ambulatory Healthcare Services: +24,000 jobs
  • Hospitals: +17,000 jobs

2) On the contrary, Mining lost 10,000 jobs during May. After September 2014, this sector has lost a whopping 207,000 jobs mainly due to losses in support activities for mining.

  • Support activities for Mining: -6,000 jobs

Other industries of prominence such as Information and Manufacturing also recorded considerable job losses.

Other Highlights

  • The average workweek for all employees remained the same as April 2016 – 34.4 hours.
  • The manufacturing workweek went up by 0.1 hour to clock 40.8 hours and the average overtime was 3.2 hours during this month.
  • The average hourly earnings for all employees was $25.59, up by 9 cents from April 2016.
  • The average hourly earnings of production and non-supervisory employees in the private sector was $21.49, up by 4 cents.


  1. I have worked for 32+ years and recently have become unable to work due to health reasons, so I have had to resign from my job. I have contacted SS and will be able to apply for disability but it will take awhile to process. Can I apply for unemployment benefits? I live in WV.

    1. Sandra,

      UI benefits are only extended to claimants who lose their employment due to involuntary reasons. Please reach out to the Unemployment Office for more.

  2. I had to quit my job at Walmart in Fairmont West Virginia and moved back to my home state ky, I’ve got a son with drug problems and 3 older sisters that are not doing so well in health cause of their age. I didn’t understand about the transfer part they had at Walmart that I could put a date when I could start back because of my car problems I thought when I left I had to go in like in s few days, I’ve applied here at Walmart in Winchester ky 40391 two times already plus dollar store, speedway, truck stop, bp, a few other places it’s been going on 7 months without a job I live with my son and its getting harder on him paying rent and utilities and food, not to mention our personal hygiene stuff I really need help I have no income coming in to help him and his wife out I get foodstamps and Medicaid I was praying I could qualify for unemployment PLEASE HELP!!!

    1. Vicky,

      I can understand your situation. Unfortunately, UI benefits are only extended to claimants who lose employment due to involuntary reasons. Please call the Unemployment Office for further clarification.

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