Commissioner's Statement on the Employment Situation News Release
Last Modified Date: June 01, 2012
Advance copies of this statement are made available to the press
under lock-up conditions with the explicit understanding that the
data are embargoed until 8:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time.
John M. Galvin
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Friday, June 1, 2012
Nonfarm payroll employment changed little in May (+69,000),
and the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 8.2
percent. Payroll employment rose by an average of 226,000 per
month in the first quarter of the year; for April and May, the
average was 73,000. Health care, transportation and warehousing,
and wholesale trade added jobs in May, while construction
Health care employment rose by 33,000 in May, mostly in
ambulatory health care services. Over the past 12 months, health
care has added 340,000 jobs.
Employment in transportation and warehousing increased by
36,000 in May. Job gains in transit and ground passenger
transportation (+20,000) and in courier and messenger services
(+5,000) followed losses in those industries in April.
Employment in both industries has shown little net change over
Wholesale trade added 16,000 jobs over the month.
Employment in this industry has risen by 184,000 since May 2010.
Employment in manufacturing continued to trend up in May
(+12,000) following a similar change in April (+9,000). The
industry had added an average of 41,000 jobs a month during the
first quarter of the year.
Construction employment declined by 28,000 in May. Job
losses were concentrated in specialty trade contractors and in
heavy and civil engineering construction.
Employment in other major industries changed little in May.
Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm
payrolls increased by 2 cents in May to $23.41. Over the past 12
months, average hourly earnings have risen by 1.7 percent. From
April 2011 to April 2012, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban
Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 2.3 percent.
Turning now to our survey of households, the unemployment
rate was little changed at 8.2 percent in May. The rate has been
at or near that level since January. The number of unemployed
persons, at 12.7 million, also changed little in May. The
proportion of the unemployed who had been jobless for 27 weeks or
more was 42.8 percent.
In May, the labor force participation rate rose by 0.2
percentage point to 63.8 percent. This followed a decline of the
same amount in April.
Among persons who were neither working nor looking for work
in May, 2.4 million were classified as marginally attached to the
labor force, up from 2.2 million a year earlier. These
individuals wanted a job, were available for work, and had looked
for a job within the last 12 months. The number of discouraged
workers, a subset of the marginally attached, was 830,000 in May,
about unchanged from a year earlier.
In summary, payroll employment changed little over the month
(+69,000). The unemployment rate, at 8.2 percent, was