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US Nonfarm Payroll Update May 2024

June 7, 2024June 13th, 2024No Comments

The Employment Situation Summary for May 2024, released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, reveals a significant increase of 272,000 jobs in May, maintaining the unemployment rate at 4.0 percent. This growth indicates ongoing demand for labor and suggests a positive trajectory for the economy. The increase in employment exceeds the downwardly revised figure of 165,000 in April and surpasses expectations, with forecasts anticipating around 185,000 new jobs. Moreover, it outpaces the average monthly gain of 232,000 over the prior 12 months and the 246,000 in the first four months of the year.

The job growth was particularly notable in key sectors such as health care, which added 68,000 jobs, driven by increases in ambulatory health care services (43,000). Government employment also saw a notable uptick of 43,000 jobs, while leisure and hospitality added 42,000 jobs, primarily in food services and drinking places (25,000). Additionally, professional, scientific, and technical services experienced growth with 32,000 new jobs. Social assistance employment saw an increase of 15,000 jobs, and retail trade added 13,000 jobs.

Despite the overall stability in the unemployment rate, minor fluctuations were observed across demographic groups. Adult men and women, teenagers, and various racial and ethnic groups experienced little to no change in their unemployment rates. However, the number of long-term unemployed individuals, those jobless for 27 weeks or more, remained largely unchanged at 1.4 million, highlighting the need for continued support for those facing prolonged unemployment.

Household survey data also provided insights into labor force participation and employment-population ratios, which showed little change in May. The number of people employed part-time for economic reasons, as well as those not in the labor force but actively seeking employment, saw minimal fluctuations, underscoring the ongoing efforts to encourage workforce participation.

Wage growth remained positive, with average hourly earnings increasing by 0.4 percent in May and by 4.1 percent over the past 12 months. This increase reflects ongoing improvements in workers’ purchasing power and is a positive sign for the economy. However, there was no change in the average workweek for all employees, indicating stability in working hours.

In terms of revisions, the data for March was revised lower, with a combined adjustment for March and April resulting in employment being 15,000 lower than previously reported. These revisions highlight the importance of monitoring economic indicators with caution, as they are subject to adjustments based on new information.

Overall, the robust job growth in May across various sectors suggests a healthy and resilient economy. However, challenges remain in certain industries, and ongoing efforts will be needed to sustain this positive momentum and ensure inclusive growth for all segments of the population.

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