Posted: 9:01 am Friday, June 1st, 2018
By Jamie Dupree
The U.S. economy showed more signs of strength in May, with 223,000 jobs added to the nation’s payrolls, as the unemployment rate dropped to its lowest point since April 2000, ticking down to 3.8 percent, as unemployment hit another record low for black Americans.
After revisions to the jobs numbers in March and April, monthly job gains are averaging just over 207,000 in 2018, up sharply from the 171,000 per month in President Donald Trump’s first year in office.
“The economic BOOM continues,” tweeted House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, as Republicans argue their package of tax cuts, reduction in regulations, and other pro-business moves have set the stage for a more energetic economy.
The positive numbers in May extended an unprecedented run, as there has not been a shrinkage in the monthly job totals in the U.S. since the economy shed 63,000 jobs in September of 2010.
The U6 rate – the broadest measure of unemployment – fell in May to 7.6 percent, the lowest point since May of 2001, when it was at 7.5 percent.
The U6 stood at 16.4 percent in September of 2011.
In May, 4.9 million people were working in part-time jobs because they could not find a full-time job; those numbers were down slightly for a third straight month.
For black Americans, there were record numbers in the May jobs report yet again, as the jobless rate for African Americans dropped to a record low of 5.9 percent in May, down two percent in the last year.
The new report from the Labor Department showed retail trades adding 31,000 jobs, health care up by 29,000, and construction by 25,000 jobs in May.
Average hourly earnings were up by 8 cents an hour to $26.92. That figure has increased by 71 cents in the past year.
There were still signs that more job growth is needed, as while the jobless rated edged down in May, the number of long-term unemployed (more than 27 weeks) stayed the same, while the Labor Force Participation rate ticked down to 62.7 percent, indicating a large chunk of Americans who could work, do not currently have a job.
That figure – the Labor Force Participation Rate – has been on a slow decline for years.
During the Obama Administration, Republicans routinely complained about the decline in that rate, but so far, it has not turned around as yet with the economic gains under the Trump Administration.
The Labor Force Participation rate refers to the amount of people who are working or actively looking for a job.