U.S. payrolls and jobless rate both increase

Payrolls continue to grow in the United States, but the unemployment rate also has climbed from a 50-year low.

Nonfarm payrolls increased 339,000 and the jobless rate rose three-tenths of a point to 3.7 percent in May, according to the latest estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Initial estimates for payroll gains for the past two months also were revised upward a total of 93,000 to 294,000 for April and 217,000 for March.

Still, the number of people counted among those unsuccessfully looking for jobs increased 440,000 to 6.1 million in May. Of those, 1.2 million have been out of work for 27 weeks or more.

Another 3.7 million people were counted among those working part-time because their hours were cut or they were unable to find full-time positions.

Payrolls have increased an average of 341,000 a month over the past year. The unemployment rate has ranged between 3.4 percent and 3.7 percent since March 2022. The rate is now at its highest point since October.

The labor participation rate held steady at 62.6 percent in May, still below the rate posted before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S in early 2020.

Payroll gains for May were spread out among industry sectors. Employment increased 64,000 in professional and business services, 52,000 in health care, 48,000 in leisure and hospitality, 25,000 in construction and 24,000 in transportation and warehousing. Government payrolls rose 56,000.

The average workweek edged down a tenth of an hour to 34.3 hours. The average manufacturing work week held steady at 40.1 hours.

Average hourly earnings rose 11 cents to $33.44 in May. Over the past year, average hourly earnings have increased 4.3 percent.