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The Employment Situation in the US – May 2018

Updated : February 10th, 2021

The total nonfarm payroll employment in the United States increased by 223,000 in May 2018. Coincidentally, the unemployment rate in the United States edged down further to 3.8%, as reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. There has been a steady uptick in employment in several industries. These industries include retail trade, health care, and construction.

Over the years, the unemployment rate in the country edged down by 0.5% which resulted in the number of unemployed persons declining by 772,000. The total number of unemployed persons has declined to 6.1 million.

The Employment Situation in the US May 2018

Among the major working groups, the unemployment rate for adult men was 3.5%. African-Americans were reported to be at 5.9% and Asians to be at 2.1% The jobless rates for adult women were reported to be at 3.3%, teenagers at 12.8%. Whites and Hispanics were reported to be at 3.5% and 4.9% respectively.

When it comes to the number of long-term unemployed ( people jobless for 27 weeks or more), there was little to no change at 1.2 million in May. the long-term unemployed accounted for 19.4% of the total unemployed. Over the past year, the number of long-term unemployed declined by 476,000.

The labor force participation rate for the month of may changed little at 62.7% while the employment-population ratio remained at 60.4%.

Nonfarm Payroll Employment

May 2018 saw the total nonfarm payroll increase by 223,000. This is in comparison of the average monthly gain of 191,000 over the past 12 months. Over the month of may, employment trended up in many industries, namely retail trade, health care and construction.

May saw the retail trade industry add 31,000 jobs, with gains mostly occurring in general merchandise stores (+13,000) and building material and garden supply stores (+6000). Over the year, the retail trade industry added 125,000 jobs.

The healthcare industry saw its employment increase by 29,000 in May. This is similar to the average monthly gain in employment in the past 12 months. Employment in ambulatory health services was increased by 18,000 jobs in May while employment in hospitals trended up by 6000.

The Construction industry continues its upward trend in Employment with the addition of +25000 jobs in the month of May. Over the past 12 months, the construction industry has raised 286,000 jobs. Within the construction industry, nonresidential specialty trade contractors added 15,000 jobs over the month.

Professional and technical services saw its employment trend up by +23000 jobs in May and have risen in jobs by 206,000 over the year.

The transportation and warehousing industry added 19,000 jobs in the month of May and 156,000 jobs in the past 12 months. Job gains of +7000 occurred in warehousing and storage, and +5000 jobs were gained in couriers and messengers.

Employment in the manufacturing industries expanded by +18000 over the month of may. Durable goods accounted for most of the increase in jobs, with the inclusion of 6000 jobs in machinery. Employment in manufacturing industries rose by 259,000 over the year with about 3/4th of jobs coming from the durable goods industries.

The mining industry added in 6000 jobs in the month of may. Since the low point occurring in October 2016, the mining industry has grown by 91,000 jobs. This is mostly because of support activities for mining which accounts for nearly all of the increase in jobs.

In terms of other major industries like wholesale trade, information, financial activities, leisure and hospitality and government saw little to no change in the month of May 2018. If you are currently unemployed, we created a simple to use unemployment benefits calculator to help you know how much benefits you are eligible for.  

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