3 Things You Should Know From the May 2017 Jobs Report

June 5, 2017 Deanna Hartley

While the unemployment rate fell to a 16-year low, job gains for May came in at 138,000 — well below expectations — and breaking the 181,000 average monthly gain we’ve seen over the past year.

As you may know, following each month’s BLS jobs report, we read dozens of news reports, scour the web, and break what we find down to three key talking points you can use. Whether you’re taking a break at the office water cooler or conversing with peers in the industry, you’ll have three conversation starters in your pocket.

News You Can Use From Today's Release   

  1. Reactions to the report? There have been mixed reactions from experts on this morning’s BLS report.

According to Reuters:U.S. job growth slowed in May and employment gains in the prior two months were not as strong as previously reported, suggesting the labor market was losing momentum despite the unemployment rate falling to a 16-year low of 4.3 percent.”

According to CNN Money: “Experts were split on the report. Some said it is a sign that job growth is slowing down after three straight years of jobs gains and major drop in unemployment. Others say May's sluggish job gains don't tell the whole story. The monthly jobs numbers can be volatile -- and they are always revised. Other measures — such as jobless claims — reflect a healthy job market.”

2.       Let’s talk about the unemployment rate. The unemployment rate last month fell to the lowest since May 2001.

According to Business Insider: “The pace of job creation in the [U.S.] slowed by more than expected in May, and less participation in the labor market helped to push the unemployment rate to a 16-year low. […] A broader measure of unemployment that includes people who are working part time but would prefer full-time jobs — the U6, or underemployment, rate — fell to 8.4 [percent], its lowest level since November 2007.”

According to The New York Times: “The continuing low unemployment rate — more than a year without breaking the 5 percent mark — will only sharpen the debate over how close the labor market is to capacity.”

3.       Which industries led the way in job creation? Some of the big winners in May were professional and business services (which added 38,000 jobs), health care (which added 24,000 jobs) and mining (which added 7,000 jobs). You can read more about industries that have trended up and ones that have remained relatively unchanged in the new BLS report.

Don't miss the jobs report buzz! Follow us on Twitter @CBforEmployers.

 

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