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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 2, 2017

	Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 138,000 in May, 
and the unemployment rate, at 4.3 percent, was little changed. 
Job gains occurred in health care and mining. Over the prior 12 
months, payroll employment growth had averaged 181,000 per 

	Incorporating revisions for March and April, which 
decreased nonfarm payroll employment by 66,000, monthly job 
gains have averaged 121,000 over the past 3 months.

	In May, employment in health care rose by 24,000. 
Hospitals added 7,000 jobs over the month, and employment in 
ambulatory health care services continued to trend up (+13,000). 
Job growth in health care has averaged 22,000 per month thus far 
in 2017, compared with an average monthly gain of 32,000 in 

	Mining employment increased by 7,000 in May. Since a 
recent low point last October, mining has added 47,000 jobs, 
with most of the gain in support activities for mining.

	Employment in professional and business services continued 
to trend up in May (+38,000). Job gains have averaged 46,000 per 
month thus far this year, in line with the average monthly job 
gain in 2016.

	Employment in food services and drinking places also 
continued to trend up over the month (+30,000) and has increased 
by 267,000 over the year.

	Employment in other major industries--construction, 
manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and 
warehousing, information, financial activities, and government--
showed little change over the month.

	Average hourly earnings of all employees on private 
nonfarm payrolls increased by 4 cents to $26.22 in May. Over the 
past 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.5 
percent. From April 2016 to April 2017, the Consumer Price Index 
for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 2.2 percent (on a 
seasonally adjusted basis).

	Turning now to measures from the survey of households, the 
unemployment rate, at 4.3 percent, changed little over the month 
but is down by half a percentage point since January. The number 
of unemployed persons, at 6.9 million, also changed little in 
May but is down by 774,000 since January.

	Among the unemployed in May, 1.7 million had been 
searching for work 27 weeks or longer. These long-term 
unemployed accounted for 24.0 percent of the total unemployed.

	The labor force participation rate declined by 0.2 
percentage point to 62.7 percent in May but has shown no clear 
trend over the past year. The employment-population ratio edged 
down to 60.0 percent over the month.

	Among employed people, the number working part time for 
economic reasons, also referred to as involuntary part-time 
workers, was little changed at 5.2 million in May. This measure 
has continued to trend downward but remains above pre-recession 

	Among those neither working nor looking for work in May, 
1.5 million people were marginally attached to the labor force, 
238,000 lower than a year earlier. Discouraged workers, a subset 
of the marginally attached who believed that no jobs were 
available for them, numbered 355,000 in May, down by 183,000 
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 increased by 
138,000 in May, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 
4.3 percent.

Last Modified Date: June 02, 2017