In May, the U.S. economy hit a notable mark: 80 consecutive months of job growth. Employers added fewer jobs than many analysts expected, however, with payrolls growing by 138,000 positions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) also revised the number of jobs created in March and April, noting that 66,000 fewer jobs were added during those two months than previously reported.
All told, the economy has added about 810,000 jobs since the start of 2017. That’s an average of 162,000 jobs per month.
Industries that created the most jobs in May include professional and business services, and healthcare. Employers in professional and business services added 38,000 jobs last month. That industry has added about 46,000 jobs per month, on average, since the start of the year. Healthcare employment rose by 24,000 jobs. Job growth in healthcare has averaged 22,000 per month thus far in 2017.
According to the May jobs report, the national unemployment rate declined slightly to 4.3 percent — a 16-year low. The unemployment rate for workers who are 25 or older and have a college degree also decreased to 2.3 percent from 2.4 percent in April.
Also of note: The BLS released its latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey in May. According to the report, there were 5.7 million job openings in March. That’s up from 5.1 million two years ago.