U.S. Economy Adds 223,000 Jobs and Unemployment Rate Drops to 3.8 Percent in May 2018

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

The United States economy added 223,000 jobs in May 2018 while the unemployment rate edged down to 3.8 percent during the month, according to the Employment Situation report released by the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The jobs report for May 2018 revealed that the number of unemployed persons declined to 6.1 million while job gains occurred in retail trade, health care, construction, professional and technical services, transportation and warehousing, manufacturing, and mining.

  • Retail trade employment added 31,000 jobs in May 2018 and has added 125,000 jobs over the year.
  • Health care employment rose by 29,000 jobs in May 2018, about in line with the average monthly gain over the prior 12 months.
  • Construction employment added 25,000 jobs in May 2018 and has risen by 286,000 jobs over the past 12 months.
  • Professional and technical services employment rose by 23,000 jobs in May 2018 and has risen by 206,000 jobs over the year.
  • Transportation and warehousing employment added 19,000 jobs in May 2018 and has gained 156,000 jobs over the year.
  • Manufacturing employment added 18,000 jobs in May 2018 and has risen by 259,000 jobs over the year.
  • Mining employment rose by 6,000 jobs in May 2018 and has added 91,000 jobs since a recent low point in October 2016.

Employment in other major industries including wholesale trade, information, financial activities, leisure and hospitality, and government, changed little in May 2018, according to the jobs report. The average workweek for employees on private payrolls was unchanged at 34.5 hours in May 2018.

The change in employment for March 2018 was revised from 135,000 jobs added to 155,000 jobs added while April 2018 was revised from 164,000 jobs added to 159,000 jobs added. With the revisions, employment gains in these two months were 15,000 jobs more than previously reported.

The Employment Situation is usually released on the first Friday of every month. The Employment Situation for June 2018 is scheduled to be released on July 6, 2018. Until then, the most recent Employment Situation is available at www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm (PDF).

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