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Bureau of Labor Statistics: Payroll employment rises by 390,000 in May; unemployment rate remains at 3.6%

Employment Situation Summary

USDL-22-1082
8:30 a.m. (ET) Friday, June 3, 2022

Technical information: 
Household data:	     (202) 691-6378  *  cpsinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/cps
Establishment data:  (202) 691-6555  *  cesinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/ces

Media contact:	     (202) 691-5902  *  PressOffice@bls.gov

	
                       THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- MAY 2022


Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 390,000 in May, and the unemployment
rate remained at 3.6 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
Notable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, in professional and
business services, and in transportation and warehousing. Employment in retail
trade declined.

This news release presents statistics from two monthly surveys. The household
survey measures labor force status, including unemployment, by demographic 
characteristics. The establishment survey measures nonfarm employment, hours,
and earnings by industry. For more information about the concepts and statistical
methodology used in these two surveys, see the Technical Note.

Household Survey Data

In May, the unemployment rate was 3.6 percent for the third month in a row, and
the number of unemployed persons was essentially unchanged at 6.0 million. These
measures are little different from their values in February 2020 (3.5 percent
and 5.7 million, respectively), prior to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
(See table A-1.) 

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for Asians declined to 2.4
percent in May. The jobless rates for adult men (3.4 percent), adult women (3.4
percent), teenagers (10.4 percent), Whites (3.2 percent), Blacks (6.2 percent),
and Hispanics (4.3 percent) showed little or no change over the month. (See
tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

Among the unemployed, the number of permanent job losers remained at 1.4 million
in May. The number of persons on temporary layoff was little changed at 810,000.
Both measures are little different from their values in February 2020. (See
table A-11.) 

In May, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more)
edged down to 1.4 million. This measure is 235,000 higher than in February 2020.
The long-term unemployed accounted for 23.2 percent of all unemployed persons
in May. (See table A-12.) 

Both the labor force participation rate, at 62.3 percent, and the employment-
population ratio, at 60.1 percent, were little changed over the month. Both
measures are 1.1 percentage points below their February 2020 values. (See table
A-1.) 

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons increased by
295,000 to 4.3 million in May, reflecting an increase in the number of persons
whose hours were cut due to slack work or business conditions. The number of
persons employed part time for economic reasons is little different from its
February 2020 level. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time
employment, were working part time because their hours had been reduced or 
they were unable to find full-time jobs. (See table A-8.) 

The number of persons not in the labor force who currently want a job was 
little changed at 5.7 million in May. This measure remains above its February 
2020 level of 5.0 million. These individuals were not counted as unemployed
because they were not actively looking for work during the 4 weeks preceding
the survey or were unavailable to take a job. (See table A-1.) 

Among those not in the labor force who wanted a job, the number of persons
marginally attached to the labor force, at 1.5 million, changed little in May.
These individuals wanted and were available for work and had looked for a job
sometime in the prior 12 months but had not looked for work in the 4 weeks
preceding the survey. Discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached
who believed that no jobs were available for them, numbered 415,000 in May,
also little changed from the prior month. (See Summary table A.) 

Household Survey Supplemental Data 

In May, 7.4 percent of employed persons teleworked because of the coronavirus
pandemic, down from 7.7 percent in the prior month. These data refer to employed
persons who teleworked or worked at home for pay at some point in the 4 weeks
preceding the survey specifically because of the pandemic. 

In May, 1.8 million persons reported that they had been unable to work because
their employer closed or lost business due to the pandemic--that is, they did
not work at all or worked fewer hours at some point in the 4 weeks preceding
the survey due to the pandemic. This measure is little changed from the previous
month. Among those who reported in May that they were unable to work because
of pandemic-related closures or lost business, 19.9 percent received at least
some pay from their employer for the hours not worked, also little different
from the prior month. 

Among those not in the labor force in May, 455,000 persons were prevented from
looking for work due to the pandemic, down from 586,000 in the prior month. (To
be counted as unemployed, by definition, individuals must be either actively
looking for work or on temporary layoff.) 

These supplemental data come from questions added to the household survey
beginning in May 2020 to help gauge the effects of the pandemic on the labor
market. The data are not seasonally adjusted. Tables with estimates from the
supplemental questions for all months are available online at 
www.bls.gov/cps/effects-of-the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic.htm. 

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 390,000 in May. Notable job gains 
occurred in leisure and hospitality, in professional and business services,
and in transportation and warehousing. Employment in retail trade declined 
over the month. Nonfarm employment is down by 822,000, or 0.5 percent, from
its pre-pandemic level in February 2020. (See table B-1.)

Employment in leisure and hospitality increased by 84,000 in May, as job
growth continued in food services and drinking places (+46,000) and 
accommodation (+21,000). Employment in leisure and hospitality is down by
1.3 million, or 7.9 percent, compared with February 2020.

Employment in professional and business services rose by 75,000 in May.
Within the industry, job gains occurred in accounting and bookkeeping 
services (+16,000), computer systems design and related services (+13,000),
and scientific research and development services (+6,000). Employment in
professional and business services is 821,000 higher than in February 2020.

In May, transportation and warehousing added 47,000 jobs. Employment rose
in warehousing and storage (+18,000), truck transportation (+13,000), and 
air transportation (+6,000). Employment in transportation and warehousing
is 709,000 above its February 2020 level.

Employment in construction increased by 36,000 in May, following no change
in April. In May, job gains occurred in specialty trade contractors (+17,000)
and heavy and civil engineering construction (+11,000). Construction
employment is 40,000 higher than in February 2020.

In May, employment increased by 36,000 in state government education and
by 33,000 in private education. Employment changed little in local 
government education (+14,000). Compared with February 2020, employment
in state government education is up by 27,000, while employment in private
education has essentially recovered. Employment in local government
education is down by 308,000, or 3.8 percent, compared with February 2020.

Employment in health care rose by 28,000 in May, including a gain in hospitals
(+16,000). Employment in health care overall is 223,000, or 1.3 percent,
lower than in February 2020.

Manufacturing employment continued to trend up in May (+18,000). Job gains
occurred in fabricated metal products (+7,000), wood products (+4,000),
and electronic instruments (+3,000). Employment in manufacturing overall 
is slightly below (-17,000 or -0.1 percent) its February 2020 level. 

Wholesale trade added 14,000 jobs in May, including gains in durable goods 
(+10,000) and electronic markets and agents and brokers (+6,000). Employment
in wholesale trade is down by 41,000, or 0.7 percent, compared with February
2020.

Mining employment increased by 6,000 in May and is 80,000 higher than a recent
low in February 2021. 

Employment in retail trade declined by 61,000 in May but is 159,000 above 
its February 2020 level. Over the month, job losses occurred in general
merchandise stores (-33,000), clothing and clothing accessories stores 
(-9,000), food and beverage stores (-8,000), building material and garden
supply stores (-7,000), and health and personal care stores (-5,000). 

In May, employment showed little change in other major industries, including
information, financial activities, and other services.

Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose
by 10 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $31.95 in May. Over the past 12 months, average
hourly earnings have increased by 5.2 percent. In May, average hourly earnings
of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees rose by 15 cents,
or 0.6 percent, to $27.33. (See tables B-3 and B-8.) 

In May, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls 
was 34.6 hours for the third month in a row. In manufacturing, the average 
workweek for all employees was little changed at 40.4 hours, and overtime fell
by 0.1 hour to 3.2 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory
employees on private nonfarm payrolls remained unchanged at 34.1 hours. (See
tables B-2 and B-7.) 

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for March was revised down
by 30,000, from +428,000 to +398,000, and the change for April was revised
up by 8,000, from +428,000 to +436,000. With these revisions, employment in
March and April combined is 22,000 lower than previously reported. (Monthly
revisions result from additional reports received from businesses and government
agencies since the last published estimates and from the recalculation of
seasonal factors.)

_____________
The Employment Situation for June is scheduled to be released on Friday,
July 8, 2022, at 8:30 a.m. (ET).



 

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