138,000 Jobs Added in May, Unemployment at 16-Year Low

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 138,000 in May, a decrease from April’s downwardly revised figure of 174,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The national unemployment rate moved down to 4.3%, the lowest rate since May 2001.

Private service-providing industries added a net 131,000 jobs, led by gains in education and health services, which added 47,000 during the month, and by professional and business services, which added 38,000.

Goods-producing employment rose by 16,000 jobs during the month, as gains in construction led the way by adding 11,000.

The civilian labor force participation rate was 62.7%, a 0.2% decrease from April. Workers unemployed for less than 14 weeks fell 356,000, while the number of long-term unemployed, those jobless for 27 weeks or more, rose to 1.7 million and accounted for 24.2% of the unemployed. The number of discouraged workers was 355,000, falling for the fourth straight month.

Average hourly earnings increased by 4 cents to $26.22, after a 5-cent increase in April. Over the past year, average hourly earnings have risen by 63 cents, or 2.5%.

Read the BLS release.