Employment Rose 2.5 Million in May

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 2.5 million in May, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Total unemployed persons fell 2.1 million to 21.0 million in May. Despite the large increase in nonfarm payroll over the month, unemployment still stands at 13.3%.

Large employment increases occurred in leisure and hospitality, construction, education and health services, and retail trade. Government employment continued to decline sharply. The restaurant sector, which was largely shuttered in March and April, started to reopen in May. The leisure and hospitality industry gained 1.2 million jobs. Employment increased 424,000 in education and health services in May.

Goods-producing employment rose by 669,000 jobs during the month, manufacturing rose by 225,000, with gains about evenly split between the durable and nondurable goods components. Construction employment increased by 464,000.

The civilian labor force participation rate rose by 0.6 percentage point over the month to 60.8%. Workers unemployed less than 5 weeks decreased by 10.4 million to 3.9 million, accounting for 18.5% of the unemployed. Unemployed workers who were jobless 5 to 14 weeks increased by 7.8 million to 14.8 million. The number of long-term unemployed (jobless for 27 weeks or more) increased by 225,000 over the month.

Average hourly earnings fell by 29 cents to $29.75, following a $1.35 increase in April.


Read the BLS release.