38,000 Jobs Added in May, Unemployment Falls to 4.7 Percent

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 38,000 in May, the fewest number of workers in almost six years. The national unemployment rate fell to 4.7 percent.

Healthcare services contributed the majority of the month’s job gains, adding 46,000 jobs in May. Professional and business services added 10,000 jobs, after increasing by 55,000 in April.

Gains in healthcare and professional business services were offset by job losses in goods producing industries, which shed 36,000 jobs during the month. Durable goods manufacturing led the losses, with employment declining by 18,000. The construction and mining sectors also contracted, losing 15,000 and 11,000 jobs respectively.

Employment in information declined in May, as a month long strike among telecoms workers at Verizon Communications affected approximately 35,000 workers who were not included on payrolls during the survey period.

The civilian labor force participation rate fell by 0.2 points to 62.6 percent in May. The number of long-term unemployed, those jobless for 27 weeks or more, fell by 178,000 to 1.9 million. Discouraged workers, those who gave up looking for work was 538,000, unchanged from a year ago.

Average hourly earnings grew by 5 cents to $25.59, after a 9 cent increase in April. Year-over-year earnings have grown by 2.5 percent.

Read the BLS release