May 2024 Jobs Report: Employers Add 272,000 Jobs

Salaries and Roles Job Market Salary and hiring trends Research and insights Article
The latest jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that the U.S. economy saw robust job growth in May, with employers expanding payrolls by 272,000 jobs. That figure outpaces analysts’ expectations of between 180,000 to 190,000 new jobs. The May jobs report also notes that employers in the U.S. added 15,000 fewer jobs than previously reported for March and April combined.
Employers in private education and health services once again led the way in job creation, expanding payrolls by 86,000 jobs in May. Employers in government and leisure and hospitality also saw significant job gains last month, adding 43,000 and 42,000 new jobs, respectively. The latest jobs report from the BLS shows that these industries had notable payroll expansion in May as well: Professional and business services: 33,000 jobs added Construction: 21,000 jobs added Retail trade: 12,600 jobs added Transportation and warehousing: 10,600 jobs added Financial activities: 10,000 jobs added Manufacturing: 8,000 jobs added
The national unemployment rate in May was 4.0%, up from 3.9% in April. The unemployment rate for college-degreed professionals who are 25 or older was 2.1% in May. In April, the rate was 2.2%. These workers are the most highly sought-after hires by employers. Separate data from the BLS highlights how many in-demand roles have even lower unemployment rates. Examples include:* Database administrators and architects (0.9%) Financial and investment analysts (1.5%) Human resources managers (1.7%) Office and administrative support supervisors (1.8%) Graphic designers (2.1%) Paralegals and legal assistants (3.4%) *Percentages reflect unemployment rates for select positions that were near or below the national unemployment rate of 3.8% at the end of March 2024. Current Population Statistics report, BLS, April 5, 2024.
The latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary from the BLS shows that there were 8.1 million job openings in the United States at the end of April, down from 8.5 million in March. While we have observed employers taking longer to staff roles and becoming more measured in their hiring approach, the level of job openings remains higher than pre-pandemic levels. This indicates that many businesses feel confident about staffing up so they can resume critical projects that they had previously put on hold. According to workplace research from Robert Half, nearly half (46%) of employers in the U.S. who report they are in hiring mode say they need to recruit new talent because their current teams don’t possess the requisite skills the business needs. At the same time, 51% of managers looking to hire told us that they find it difficult to find skilled talent in the current labor market. To help address skill gaps in their workforce while they seek to hire additional talent, managers may want to apply strategies such as: Focusing on upskilling and targeted training of their current staffRefining job descriptions to attract in-demand talentWorking with staffing professionals to find the best candidates available
Read the latest issue of Robert Half’s Demand for Skilled Talent report to get details on in-demand positions for several industries including finance and accounting, technology, legal, and administrative and customer support. Learn about U.S. employers’ hiring plans and challenges, common hiring mistakes and how to avoid them, and the importance of taking a proactive stance toward addressing skill gaps. View the Demand for Skilled Talent report now on the Robert Half website.
The 2024 Salary Guide From Robert Half features exclusive data and input from employers and workers, and from our recruiters who staff tens of thousands of jobs each year. Our guide is designed to be a go-to resource on the latest hiring and compensation trends for both employers and job seekers. And you can view it right now, for free, on the Robert Half website. Read the 2024 Salary Guide
See this video featuring Robert Half Operational President Dawn Fay for further analysis of the May 2024 jobs report. Also, learn about new research from Robert Half on employee burnout, along with strategies employers can use to help ease stress among their workers. WATCH VIDEO NOW