Nonfarm Payroll Growth Points to Ongoing Slow Growth

June 7, 2013 03:54 AM

The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) today reported that nonfarm employment increased by 175,000 jobs in May, which was in line with expectations for a 170,000 increase. Employment rose in professional and business services, food services and drinking places, and retail trade. The rise was also in line with average growth of 172,000 jobs per month over the past 12 months.

The Bureau also revised its jobs data for the prior two months. It issued a 4,000 upside payrolls revision to its March employment data, to 142,000 jobs added. But it also lowered its April nonfarms payroll estimate by 16,000 jobs to 149,000 payrolls added.

The unemployment rate ticked up from 7.5% to 7.6%, as more people sought work in May. The number of people in the labor force, which includes those looking for work, rose by 420,000 to 155.7 million, though the labor force participation rate was little changed at 63.4%.

BLS details, "Over the year, the labor force participation rate has declined by 0.4 percentage point. The employment-population ratio was unchanged in May at 58.6% and has shown little movement, on net, over the past year."

The average workweek for the private nonfarm payrolls in May held at 34.5 hours, while the average workweek for the manufacturing sector rose 0.1 hours to 40.8 hours, with overtime staying at 3.3 hours. Production and nonsupervisory employees on also saw a 0.1 hour increase in the average workweek to 33.8 hours.

Average hourly earnings for nonfarm payroll employees rose a penny to $23.89 in May. "Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 46 cents, or 2.0%," BLS explains.

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