U.S. Unemployment Rate Remains Steady

NATIONAL REPORT—The U.S. economy added 75,000 jobs in May, and the unemployment rate remained at 3.6%, according to a report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Monthly job gains have averaged 164,000 in 2019, compared with an average gain of 223,000 per month in 2018. Employment continued to trend up in professional and business services and in healthcare.

The unemployment rate remained at 3.6% in May, and the number of unemployed persons was little changed at 5.9 million.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.3%), adult women (3.2%), teenagers (12.7%), Whites (3.3%), Blacks (6.2%), Asians (2.5%), and Hispanics (4.2%) showed little or no change in May.

In May, the number of persons unemployed less than five weeks increased by 243,000 to 2.1 million, following a decline in April. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more), at 1.3 million, changed little over the month and accounted for 22.4% of the unemployed.

Both the labor force participation rate, at 62.8%, and the employment-population ratio, at 60.6%, were unchanged in May.

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) declined by 299,000 in May to 4.4 million. 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. Over the past 12 months, the number of involuntary part-time workers has declined by 565,000.