May 2024 Employment Summary

  • On June 14, 2024

As summer is approaching, the job market has changed slightly. Learn more about employment expectations based on data from our May employment summary. Staff Solve strives to assist employers and job seekers not only with job market information and in the hiring process but also with the overall economic picture of employment trends in the United States and the possible factors involved.

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 272,000 in May, and the unemployment rate trended up by .1 percent at 4.0 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment continued to trend up in several industries, led by health care; government; leisure and hospitality; and professional, scientific, and technical services.

The unemployment rate trended upward slightly at 4.0  percent and the number of unemployed people changed little at 6.6 million. A year earlier, the jobless rate was 3.7 percent, and the number of unemployed people was 6.1 million.

In May, the labor force participation rate changed little at 62.5 percent. The employment-population ratio, at 60.1 percent, also changed little this month. The number of persons employed part-time for economic reasons, at 4.4 million, changed little in May. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part-time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs.

The number of persons in the labor force who currently want a job was 5.7 million in May, demonstrating little change. These individuals were not counted as unemployed because they were not actively looking for work during the 4 weeks preceding the survey or were unavailable to take a job. Among those not in the labor force who wanted a job, the number of persons marginally attached to the labor force changed slightly at 1.5 million in May. The number of discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believed that no jobs were available for them, at 462,000, went up slightly.

Professional, scientific, and technical services added 32,000 jobs in May, higher than the average monthly gain of 19,000 over the prior 12 months.

Employment showed little or no change over the month in other major industries, including mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction; construction; manufacturing; wholesale trade; transportation and warehousing; information; financial activities; and other services.

In May, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls
rose by 14 cents, or .4 percent, to $34.91. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 4.1 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees rose by 14 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $29.99. The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls remained at 34.3 hours in May. The average work week for production and nonsupervisory employees rose slightly by .1 hour to 33.8 hours.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for March was revised down by 5,000, from +315,000 to +310,000, and the change for April was revised down by 10,000, from +175,000 to +165,000. With these revisions, employment in March and April combined is 15,000 lower than previously reported. (Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates and from the recalculation of seasonal factors.)

Staff Solve continues to provide high-quality candidates and jobs in diverse markets for over 30 years. Let us take the stress off you so you can focus on your business by finding the perfect applicant for the position. If you are looking for employment, please visit our job seeker page and check out our job board for current positions. If you would like more information about the services we offer employers, visit our employer page or contact us today.

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