Jun 01, 2018

Putting U.S. Employment Numbers in Context – May 2018

Post by Freedom Partners

This morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the economy gained 223,000 jobs in May and the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent, matching April 2000 as the lowest reading since 1969. The number of jobs added during March was revised up to 155,000 total jobs for an average of roughly 207,000 jobs created per month so far this year. Further, the percentage of individuals who are underemployed, which incorporates those who want a job but are no longer looking for work and those who are working part-time because no other work was available, fell to its lowest rate in 17 years.

With the unemployment rate dropping to the lowest rate in over 18 years, today’s report further shows the positive movements in the labor force due to reforms enacted during the Trump administration’s first sixteen months. During that time, average hourly earnings for all private sector employees rose roughly 3.6 percent, signaling a strong turnaround for workers after years of stagnant wage growth. Additionally, the economy gained nearly 3 million jobs, at an average rate of 185,375 jobs per month, and the unemployment rate dropped 1 percentage point. The largest private sector job gains were seen in education and health services, as well as professional and business services.

While the full potential of the Tax and Cuts and Jobs Act will be realized over the long-term, there’s no denying the positive impact it’s already having just five months since being signed into law. This historic legislation is already spurring job creation, making businesses more competitive, and improving the lives of millions of Americans. To date, around 400 businesses have already announced plans to invest in the economy and give more money back to employees.

Below is a deeper look at the numbers from today’s report, what they say about the state of the U.S. labor market, and how the Trump administration is tracking after the first year-plus.