The May jobs report came in better than expected! Employers added more jobs, wages went up, and the unemployment rate is 3.8%, which is the lowest it’s been in 18 years.

Economists predicted job growth of 190,000 for May, but the report shows that employers added 223,000 jobs last month. From The Wall Street Journal:

In retail, 31,000 new jobs were added, with gains focused in general merchandise stores, and building materials and garden supply stores.

In the health care sector, the 29,000 new jobs last month were from abulatory health care and hospitals.

In construction, nonresidential specialty trade contractors contributed to the 25,000 new jobs added in the sector.

Other sectors that the Labor Department highlighted included professional and technical services, transportation and warehousing, manufacturing, and mining

The Labor Department also revised previous reports, saying 159,000 new jobs came in April while March had 155,000. The Wall Street Journal stated that is a revision of 15,000 new jobs and so far in 2018, “the U.S. has added 207,000 new jobs per month on average, a brisk pace of hiring.”

The unemployment rate hit 3.8%, the first time since April 2000 and matches “the lowest reading since 1969.” Another stat shows that “the unemployment rate for workers 25 years and older with less than a high-school diploma was 5.4%, down from 6.2% a year earlier.” College grads have “an unemployment rate of 2%.”

In April, we dwelled upon the stale wage growth, but that changed in May. Hourly earnings went up 8 cents in May to $26.92. It’s an indication that the “strong pace of hiring is encouraging employers to raise pay to secure workers.”


It’s not a lot, but it could help delay a recession. From Fox Business:

“Companies have not been hiking wages with businesses cautious about a recession. They are having extreme discipline at the end of the business cycle,” Sameer Samana, global quantitative and technical strategist with Wells Fargo Investment Institute told FOX Business.

Excesses in the market usually trigger a recession – and the fact that companies are not overextending themselves could prolong the economic growth cycle, he added.

Despite these decent numbers, the report also showed a weak participation in the labor force:

The May jobs report brought another curious decline in the share of Americans working or looking for a job, with the labor force participation rate edging down to 62.7% from 62.8% in April.

Many economists thought rising wages and strong hiring would encourage adults to reenter the job market. While participation has improved slightly over the past few years, it is still near the smallest share of adults participating since the late 1970s, a time when women were still entering the workforce in greater numbers.


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