THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- MAY 2012
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THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- MAY 2012

Nonfarm payroll employment changed little in May (+69,000), and the unemployment rate

was essentially unchanged at 8.2 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported

today. Employment increased in health care, transportation and warehousing, and wholesale

trade but declined in construction. Employment was little changed in most other major

industries.

Household Survey Data

Both the number of unemployed persons (12.7 million) and the unemployment rate (8.2

percent) changed little in May. (See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (7.8 percent) and

Hispanics (11.0 percent) edged up in May, while the rates for adult women (7.4 percent),

teenagers (24.6 percent), whites (7.4 percent), and blacks (13.6 percent) showed little

or no change. The jobless rate for Asians was 5.2 percent in May (not seasonally

adjusted), down from 7.0 percent a year earlier. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) rose from 5.1

to 5.4 million in May. These individuals accounted for 42.8 percent of the unemployed.

(See table A-12.)

The civilian labor force participation rate increased in May by 0.2 percentage point

to 63.8 percent, offsetting a decline of the same amount in April. The employment-

population ratio edged up to 58.6 percent in May. (See table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to

as involuntary part-time workers) edged up to 8.1 million over the month. These

individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because

they were unable to find a full-time job. (See table A-8.)

In May, 2.4 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, up from 2.2

million a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were

not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job

sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had

not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 830,000 discouraged workers in May, about the

same as a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are

persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for

them. The remaining 1.6 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in May

had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school

attendance or family responsibilities. (See table A-16.)

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment changed little in May (+69,000), following a similar

change in April (+77,000). In comparison, the average monthly gain was 226,000 in the

first quarter of the year. In May, employment rose in health care, transportation and

warehousing, and wholesale trade, while construction lost jobs. (See table B-1.)

Health care employment continued to increase in May (+33,000). Within the industry,

employment in ambulatory health care services, which includes offices of physicians

and outpatient care centers, rose by 23,000 over the month. Over the year, health care

employment has risen by 340,000.

Transportation and warehousing added 36,000 jobs over the month. Employment gains in

transit and ground passenger transportation (+20,000) and in couriers and messengers

(+5,000) followed job losses in those industries in April. Employment in both industries

has shown little net change over the year. In May, truck transportation added 7,000 jobs.

Employment in wholesale trade rose by 16,000 over the month. Since reaching an employment

low in May 2010, this industry has added 184,000 jobs.

Manufacturing employment continued to trend up in May (+12,000) following a similar

change in April (+9,000). Job gains averaged 41,000 per month in the first quarter of

this year. In May, employment rose in fabricated metal products (+6,000) and in primary

metals (+4,000). Since its most recent low in January 2010, manufacturing employment has

increased by 495,000.

Construction employment declined by 28,000 in May, with job losses occurring in specialty

trade contractors (-18,000) and in heavy and civil engineering construction (-11,000).

Since reaching a low in January 2011, employment in construction has shown little change

on net.

Employment in professional and business services was essentially unchanged in May. Since

the most recent low point in September 2009, employment in this industry has grown by

1.4 million. In May, job losses in accounting and bookkeeping services (-14,000) and in

services to buildings and dwellings (-14,000) were offset by small gains elsewhere in

the industry.

Employment in other major industries, including mining and logging, retail trade,

information, financial activities, leisure and hospitality, and government, changed

little in May.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged down by 0.1 hour

to 34.4 hours in May. The manufacturing workweek declined by 0.3 hour to 40.5 hours, and

factory overtime declined by 0.1 hour to 3.2 hours. The average workweek for production

and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 33.7 hours.

(See tables B-2 and B-7.)

In May, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged up

by 2 cents to $23.41. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased

by 1.7 percent. In May, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and

nonsupervisory employees edged down by 1 cent to $19.70. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for March was revised from +154,000 to

+143,000, and the change for April was revised from +115,000 to +77,000.

_____________

The Employment Situation for June is scheduled to be released on Friday, July 6, 2012,

at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).

_______________________________________________________________________________

| |

| Corrections to Women Employee Data from the Establishment Survey |

| |

|On May 25, 2012, BLS corrected estimates of women employees in the U.S. Postal |

|Service from the establishment survey. BLS staff had discovered data-processing|

|errors that occurred during the November 2009--April 2012 period that resulted |

|in an incorrect ratio of women employees to all employees in the U.S. Postal |

|Service. The following women employee data series that incorporate the U.S. |

|Postal Service employment were also corrected: women employees in the federal |

|government, government, service-providing sector, and total nonfarm. These |

|data series on women employees were affected only to the extent of the error |

|occurring in the estimate of women employees in the U.S. Postal Service. Not |

|seasonally adjusted data were revised from November 2009 through February 2012.|

|Seasonally adjusted data were revised back to January 2002. Some of the |

|corrected women employee data series appear in Summary table B and table B-5 of|

|this news release. Total employment (jobs held by men and women combined) for |

|all data series including the U.S. Postal Service are correct as originally |

|published. |

| |

|For more information, see www.bls.gov/bls/ceswomen_usps_correction.htm. |

|_______________________________________________________________________________|



































































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