FileUnemployment

The Employment Situation – May 2019

Updated : June 12th, 2019

The employment situation for the month of May has steadfastly maintained the growth achieved in the month of April. The unemployment rate has remained at 3.6 percent, which still remains to be the lowest rate in the last 50 years. The month of May will be the record 15th month to witness the rate of unemployment grow under 4 percent.

Establishment Survey Data

The professional and business services and healthcare companies have added more jobs than other sectors in May. The two sectors have added 33,000 jobs and 16,000 jobs respectively. However, there has been a substantial fall in job growth in these sectors when compared to the previous month. The professional and business services added 76,000 jobs and the healthcare sector added 27,000 in the month of April.

The reduction in job growth is not newly encountered in the month of May as this phenomenon has been observed since the month of March. The US just added an overall of 75,000 jobs in the month of May, which is significantly lesser than 224,000 jobs added in April. The average job growth has come down to 151,000 in the last three months (March, April, and May) against the average of 196,000 in the last 12 months.

This trend of reducing job growth, in spite of the unchanged unemployment rate, is worrisome due to the ongoing global trade disputes, particularly between the US and China. The heat is particularly felt by the construction and manufacturing companies. Employment in construction companies saw a small improvement of 4000, whereas the industry added over 30,000 new workers in April.

Manufacturing companies, along with mining, retail trade, retail trade, transportation, and warehousing companies witnessed a very small change in job growth in May. Along with the reducing job growth rates, another important indicator that is pointing towards the sensitivity of nature of the economy was the ISM Manufacturing Index.

The ISM Manufacturing Index is considered as one of the most important indicators of recent US economic activities. The Index showed that the economic activity in the month of May was at the lowest level in the last three years. This indicates another warning to the strength of the factory sector.

Household Survey Data

The status of the labor force has seen little to no change in the month of May, as compared to the month of April. The status of the major worker’s groups for May are as follows:

Workers Groups Unemployment Rates
Adult Men 3.3 percent
Adult Women 3.2 percent
Teenagers 12.7 percent
White population 3.3 percent
Black Population 6.2 percent
Hispanic population 4.2 percent
Asian population 2.5 percent

The month of May witnessed a marginal increase in the rate of persons unemployed less than 5 weeks and persons who are long-term unemployed. Persons unemployed less than 5 weeks increased by 243,000 to 2.1 million, whereas the long-term unemployed stood at 1.3 million.

The labor force participation rate and employment-population ratio both remained unchanged from the month of April, as both stood at 62.8 percent and 60.6 percent respectively.

Final Analysis

The trends displayed in the month of May may ring a bell of caution to the policy-making fraternity of the United States. The reducing job growth rate and the not-so-promising ISM Manufacturing Index results for this month indicates that there might be some challenges up ahead to contain the reduction of job growth rate.

Although the overall rate of unemployment stands at a record low as of May, there is a need to take steps to increase the rate of job growth to achieve sustainable growth.

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  1. I’m attemptiing to file my first weekly claim since my layoff, however, my PIN# is not correct. what do I do to get my correct PIN# , please?

  2. I have exhausted my unemployment benefits in Texas but my calendar year does not end until September. Do I have to wait until the calendar year is over in Texas, to apply for unemployment benefits in New York in which I have available quarters?

    1. Mattie,

      As much as I am aware, UI benefits are only a one-time cycle. Please call the Claims Center for clarification.

  3. Help ran out of unemployment benefits for the pass 8 years i have worked at Hexion speciality chemical plant in Brady Texas how can i get my benefits extended

    1. Roderick,

      The E.U.C(Emergency Unemployment Compensation) remains expired. There is no extension available. Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state by calling them.

    1. Annette,

      You can visit the official website of the Unemployment Office and ‘login’ to check the claim status. Alternatively, you can also call the Claims Center.

      PS: It should not take 6 weeks to process the initial claim. Please chase at regular intervals.

    1. Jocelyn,

      Unemployment is offered to claimants who’re able and available for work. Please call the Unemployment Office to ascertain if you can apply.

  4. I have been working for the same company for the past 11 years. I started out cleaning apartments, then landscaping and finally Asst. Manager for the past seven years. However, the owner/ manager had us all sign papers claiming we were “Independent Contractors.” I worked Monday thru Friday from 8am – 5pm the entire 11 years. Obviously, in reality, we had Never been “Independent Contractors.”
    Finally, October 2018 we became employee’s. On May 10, 2019 he sold the business which puts us all out of work. I tried filing for unemployment, but, I don’t have enough quarters in. Assuming I’m still out of work, can I wait for the next quarter to end, thus giving me the 2 quarters I need or will it not make a difference.

    1. Lea,

      Why don’t you look at alternate based period? Please use the link below to access the Base Period calculator.

  5. I have been working as an hourly employee for the last 4 months. Currently the board of the nonprofit agency came to me and told me that I had to file a 1099 or go to part time or find a new job. I have a scheduled time that I report to work. What are the laws here in Florida about who can receive a 1099

  6. I am unemployed and currently going to a community college. How can I apply for federal assistance?

    1. Carol,

      If you’re able and available for full-time employment, you can directly go to the website of the Unemployment Office and apply.

  7. I have worked in AZ since March 2016. However, I moved lived and worked for my employer in CA since 08/02/1982. Can I apply for Cali unemployment benefits?

    1. Robert,

      You should be applying from the state where your employment was based. Employers generally remit unemployment taxes to the state where the employee is based.

      1. How long does it take Washington state unemployment to deposit your back pay after they receive the determination letter from OAH stating I won my appeal?

  8. I have been trying for over a month to file and I still do not seem to be able to do it, but I finally got to the correct place, I think.

  9. Cumberland NJ Unemployment Center kept me on hold for 2 hours; I finally had someone answer my call, after providing my information and question regarding the status of my NJ Unemployment Claim the representative disconnected my call.

  10. Excellent list of things to help execute better. Even taking 3 or 4 of these that one does not currently utilize could help immensely.

    1. How did you calculate the total weekly Illinois benefit of $1495? Also, why isn’t Washington and Minnesota listed in your top 5 states with the highest paid unemployment insurance compensation?

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