Economy Runs Hot in May: Jobs Report


June 1, 2018

The latest jobs numbers are out from the federal government. What do they mean for job seekers and employers? Here’s a quick take from Glassdoor’s Chief Economist Dr. Andrew Chamberlain:

This morning’s jobs report revealed a job market that continued to run hot in May, with employers adding 223,000 new jobs to payrolls — well above expectations — and the nation’s unemployment rate edging down to 3.8 percent, the lowest since April 2000.

Today’s strong labor market is putting many job seekers in the driver’s seat, and that’s starting to translate into pay gains. Today’s BLS report showed average hourly wages rose 2.7 percent from a year ago, up from the 2.6 percent pace recorded during the past few months.

We’re also beginning to see rising wage pressures in Glassdoor’s Local Pay Reports. Pay growth has been steadily rising this year, and in May we recorded the highest U.S. pay growth we’ve seen so far in 2018.

One positive trend in today’s report was a falling unemployment rate for workers with only a high school diploma, down to 3.9 percent. That’s helping translate into better wage prospects for many lower-skilled workers today — a trend we’re also seeing in salary data on Glassdoor.

The biggest job gains in May were in the nation’s booming healthcare sector, which added 31,700 jobs to payrolls, followed by retail (+31,100 jobs), professional and business services (+31,000 jobs), construction (+25,000 jobs), and leisure and hospitality (+21,000 jobs). The weakest job gains were in temporary help services (-7,800 job losses), motor vehicles and parts (-4,400 job losses), and utilities (-1,100 job losses).

As of May, the economy has steadily added jobs to payrolls for 92 consecutive months, the longest streak since the federal government started collecting payroll data in the 1930s. Despite a few weather-related stumbles over the past year, hiring and job growth remain remarkably strong. With a record 6.6 million open jobs and a nearly 20-year low unemployment rate, these are good times for job seekers — and that’s likely to translate into rising wage gains throughout this summer.  

To speak with Dr. Andrew Chamberlain about today’s jobs report or to discuss labor market trends, contact pr at Glassdoor dot com. For the latest economics and labor market updates, follow @adchamberlain on Twitter and subscribe to Glassdoor Economic Research.