The U.S. labor market added a whopping 223,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in the month of May, blowing away economists’ projections of 190,000. This is a substantial increase from the 159,000 jobs that were gained last month.
The national unemployment rate also slightly decreased to 3.8%, setting a newer 17-year low. This places the total number of unemployed Americans to 6.1 million, down 772,000 workers (or 0.5%) over the year. The labor force participation rate also edged down to 62.7%.
Revised jobs for March and April 2018
The Bureau of Labor Statistics revised March and April job numbers. The March revised numbers shot up from 135,000 to 155,000 jobs. April’s jobs were slightly decreased from 164,000 to 159,000 jobs. This generates a net gain of 15,000 jobs for the last two months.
Average hourly earnings increase
Average hourly earnings also slightly increased to 2.7% over the last 12 months, with average hourly earnings of $26.92. This is a $0.08 increase from April 2018 and a $0.71 increase over the year.
Employment numbers by industry
Employment in the retail and healthcare industries led the way in May with 31,000 and 29,000 jobs, respectively. Ambulatory health care services alone added 18,000 jobs and hospitals gained 6,000. Construction added another 25,000 jobs and has gained a total of 286,000 jobs over the last 12 months.
Professional and Technical services added 23,000 jobs with a total of 206,000 jobs over the last year. Manufacturing gained another 18,000 jobs and mining rose by 6,000 jobs. In fact, the mining industry has added over 91,000 jobs since October 2016.
The employment in other major industries, including wholesale trade, information, leisure and hospitality, financial activities, and government, showed little change over the month.
Check out our infographic below for more stats from the May 2018 Jobs Report: