US Unemployment Rate Falls to 18-Year Low


The US unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent in May 2018 from 3.9 percent in the previous month, and below market expectations of 3.9 percent. It was the lowest rate since April 2000, as the number of unemployed decreased by 281 thousand to 6.07 million and employment rose by 293 thousand to 155.47 million.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.5 percent), Blacks (5.9 percent), and Asians (2.1 percent) decreased in May. The jobless rates for adult women (3.3 percent), teenagers (12.8 percent), Whites (3.5 percent), and Hispanics (4.9 percent) 
changed little over the month.  

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 1.2 million in May and accounted for 19.4 percent of the unemployed. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed has declined by 476,000. 

The labor force participation rate fell to 62.7 percent in May from 62.8 percent in the previous month, while the employment-population ratio rose to 60.4 percent from 60.3 percent. 

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was essentially unchanged at 4.9 million in May. 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. 

The number of persons marginally attached to the labor force, at 1.5 million in May, was little different from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. Among the marginally attached, there were 378,000 discouraged workers in May, little changed from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.1 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in May had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.

US Unemployment Rate Falls to 18-Year Low


BLS | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com
6/1/2018 12:41:59 PM