U.S. Adds 175,000 Jobs in May; Unemployment Rate Ticks Up

Washington — June 7

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 175,000 in May and the unemployment rate ticked higher to 7.6 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

Employment rose in professional and business services, food services and drinking places and retail trade.

Both the number of unemployed persons, at 11.8 million, and the unemployment rate, at 7.6 percent, were essentially unchanged in May. Payrolls and the unemployment rate are derived from separate household surveys. The uptick in unemployment is due in part to more people rejoining the labor force looking for jobs.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (7.2 percent), adult women (6.5 percent), teenagers (24.5 percent), whites (6.7 percent), blacks (13.5 percent) and Hispanics (9.1 percent) showed little or no change in May. The jobless rate for Asians was 4.3 percent, little changed from a year earlier.

In May, the number of long-term unemployed — those jobless for 27 weeks or more — was unchanged at 4.4 million. These individuals accounted for 37.3 percent of the unemployed. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed has declined by 1 million.

The civilian labor force rose by 420,000 to 155.7 million in May; however, the labor force participation rate was little changed at 63.4 percent. Over the year, the labor force participation rate has declined by 0.4 percentage point. The employment-population ratio was unchanged in May at 58.6 percent; it, too, has shown little movement of late.

In May, the number of persons employed part time for economic reasons — sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers — was unchanged at 7.9 million. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.

In May, 2.2 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down from 2.4 million a year earlier. These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the four weeks preceding the survey.

Among the marginally attached, there were 780,000 discouraged workers in May, little changed from a year earlier. Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.4 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in May had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics