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BLS Jobs Report Rundown – May 2024

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its comprehensive report on Friday, June 7th, 2024, offering a detailed look into the state of the United States job market for May. Here’s a summary of the key findings and their implications:

May 2024 BLS Report – Non-farm Payroll 

Graph showing non-farm employment for may 2024.

Employment saw a notable rise, with 272,000 jobs added in May. This increase exceeds the average monthly gain of 232,000 seen over the past year and the Dow Jones estimate of 190,000 jobs.

Significant Job Increases: Employment growth was widespread, with particularly strong gains in health care, government, professional, scientific, and technical services, and leisure & hospitality. This diverse sector growth highlights the robustness of the job market.

Sector-Specific Details:

  • Health Care: Increased by 68,000 jobs, reflecting continued high demand with an average monthly gain of 64,000 over the past year.
  • Government: Added 43,000 jobs, slightly below its average monthly gain of 52,000, indicating stable growth in public sector employment.
  • Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services: Grew by 32,000 jobs, well above the average monthly gain of 19,000, showing strong sector expansion.
  • Leisure & Hospitality: Continued its recovery with an addition of 42,000 jobs, aligning with its role as a major contributor to post-pandemic employment gains.
  • Social Assistance: Increased by 15,000 jobs, although below its average monthly gain of 22,000 new jobs, still reflecting ongoing support for community services.

May 2024 BLS Report – Unemployment

Graph showing unemployment for may 2024.

The unemployment rate remained steady at 4.0%, with the number of unemployed individuals little changed at 6.6 million. This rate has fluctuated narrowly between 3.7% and 4.0% since August 2023, suggesting a stable job market environment.

May 2024 BLS Report – Average Hourly Earnings:

Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 14 cents (0.4%) to $34.91. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 4.1%, indicating continuous wage growth.

Overall Takeaway:

May’s employment report shows a resilient U.S. labor market, with substantial job gains across various sectors and stable unemployment rates. The increase in average hourly earnings signals ongoing wage growth, although its sustainability will be crucial to monitor in the coming months. The job market’s current status suggests a healthy economy with widespread employment opportunities.

Despite the job gains in May, overall job growth this year has slowed. Economists suggest that this slowdown represents a return to pre-pandemic hiring trends rather than an indication of an impending recession.


The total nonfarm payroll employment change for March was revised down by 5,000, from +315,000 to +310,000, and the change for April was revised down by 10,000, from +175,000 to +165,000. With these revisions, employment in March and April combined is 15,000 lower than previously reported.

Data as of June 7th, 2024 | Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

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