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Economic News Release

Commissioner's Statement on the Employment Situation News Release

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.

                              Statement of

                           William J. Wiatrowski
                            Acting Commissioner
                       Bureau of Labor Statistics

                         Friday, June 1, 2018

      Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 223,000 in May, and the 
unemployment rate edged down to 3.8 percent. Over the month, 
employment continued to trend up in several industries, 
including retail trade, health care, and construction.
      Incorporating revisions for March and April, which 
increased nonfarm payroll employment by 15,000 on net, monthly 
job gains have averaged 179,000 over the past 3 months.
      In May, retail trade employment increased by 31,000, with 
job gains in general merchandise stores (+13,000) and in 
building material and garden supply stores (+6,000). Retail 
trade has added 125,000 jobs over the year.
      Health care employment rose by 29,000 over the month and is 
up by 318,000 over the year. In May, ambulatory health care 
services added 18,000 jobs, and employment in hospitals 
continued to trend up (+6,000). 
      Construction employment continued to trend up in May 
(+25,000). Nonresidential specialty trade contractors accounted 
for most of the job growth over the month with a gain of 15,000. 
Over the past year, construction employment has expanded by 
286,000, with nonresidential specialty trade contractors 
representing 41 percent of the growth.
      Employment in professional and technical services continued 
its upward trend in May (+23,000). This industry has added 
206,000 jobs over the past 12 months.
      Employment in transportation and warehousing expanded by 
19,000 in May. Within the industry, job gains occurred in 
warehousing and storage (+7,000) and in couriers and messengers 
(+5,000). Over the past 12 months, transportation and 
warehousing has added 156,000 jobs.
      Manufacturing employment trended up in May (+18,000). Job 
growth continued to be concentrated in the durable goods 
component, including a gain of 6,000 in machinery. Over the past 
12 months, manufacturing has added 259,000 jobs, with about 
three-fourths of this growth occurring in durable goods 
      Mining employment increased by 6,000 over the month. Since 
a recent low point in October 2016, employment in mining has 
grown by 91,000.
      Employment in other major industries--wholesale trade, 
information, financial activities, leisure and hospitality, and 
government--showed little change in May.
      Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm 
payrolls rose by 8 cents in May to $26.92. Over the past 12 
months, average hourly earnings have increased by 2.7 percent. 
From April 2017 to April 2018, the Consumer Price Index for All 
Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 2.4 percent (on a 
seasonally adjusted basis).
      Turning to data from the survey of households, the 
unemployment rate edged down to 3.8 percent in May, and the 
number of unemployed declined by 281,000 to 6.1 million. Over 
the year, the unemployment rate has declined by 0.5 percentage 
point and the number of unemployed has fallen by 772,000.
      The number of unemployed people searching for work for 27 
weeks or longer was 1.2 million in May, little changed over the 
month but down by 476,000 over the year. In May, these long-term 
unemployed accounted for 19.4 percent of the total unemployed.
      Both the labor force participation rate, at 62.7 percent, 
and the employment-population ratio, at 60.4 percent, changed 
little in May. 
      Among the employed, the number of people working part time 
for economic reasons, also referred to as involuntary part-time 
workers, was 4.9 million in May. This measure has held fairly 
steady since last fall. 
      Among those neither working nor looking for work in May, 
1.5 million were considered marginally attached to the labor 
force, little different from a year earlier. Discouraged 
workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believed that 
no jobs were available for them, numbered 378,000 in May, also 
little different from a year earlier. (People who are marginally 
attached to the labor force had not looked for work in the 4 
weeks prior to the survey but wanted a job, were available for 
work, and had looked for a job within the last 12 months.)
      In summary, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 223,000 in 
May, and the unemployment rate edged down to 3.8 percent. 

Last Modified Date: June 01, 2018