The U.S. economy gained 390,000 jobs in May, and the unemployment rate remained steady at 3.6%, according to figures released Friday morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Continuing strong job creation numbers are a clear sign that the worker-friendly policies implemented by President Biden are having a positive impact on working people.
In response to the May job numbers, AFL-CIO Chief Economist William Spriggs tweeted:
Payroll employment rose 390,000 in May, revisions were made down for March and up for April for a net change down of 22,000. So the number was strong but shows a very slight cooling. The unemployment rate stayed roughly the same at 3.6 percent. @AFLCIO— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) June 3, 2022
What appears to be an anomaly of rising unemployment and rising employment makes clear that using the unemployment rate as a gauge of labor market tightness can be misleading. The current debate on tightness assumes labor force participation is fixed. It clearly is not.— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) June 3, 2022
Because Black labor force participation is more sensitive to hiring, and white labor force participation is more sensitive to wage growth, this divergence I think reflects that wage growth is much weaker than some understand. The wage growth has been from higher minimum wages.— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) June 3, 2022
Last month’s biggest job gains were in leisure and hospitality (+84,000), professional and business services (+75,000), transportation and warehousing (+47,000), construction (+36,000), state government education (+36,000), private education (+33,000), health care (+28,000), manufacturing (+18,000), wholesale trade (+14,000), local government education (+14,000), mining (+6,000). Employment in retail trade declined by 61,000. In May, employment showed little change in other major industries, including information, financial activities and other services.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for Asian Americans declined to 2.4% in May. The jobless rates for teenagers (10.4%), Black Americans (6.2%), Hispanics (4.3%), adult men (3.4%), adult women (3.4%) and White Americans (3.2%) showed little or no change over the month.
The number of long-term unemployed workers (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was edged down in May and accounted for 23.2% of the total unemployed.