May Jobs Report: U.S. Adds 272,000 Jobs

Mondo monthly jobs report cover image of a newspaper with a headline that reads Job Market

In May 2024, the United States labor market demonstrated robust growth, adding 272,000 jobs. This figure surpasses the average monthly gains seen over the past year, reflecting the continued vitality and expansion of the labor market.

The unemployment rate saw a slight uptick to 4.0%, indicating subtle shifts within the broader economic landscape.

Is the U.S. Job Market Expanding?

The addition of 272,000 jobs in May underscores an upturn in employment, contrasting with the slower growth in April. This suggests a resurgence in labor market strength, despite the slight increase in the unemployment rate from the stable range of 3.7% to 3.9% seen since August 2023.

U.S. Unemployment Rates by Group:

  • Adult women: 3.4%
  • Adult men: 3.8%
  • Teenagers: 12.3%
  • Whites: 3.5%
  • Blacks: 6.1%
  • Asians: 3.1%
  • Hispanics: 5.0%

Key Employment Statistics for May 2024:

  • The long-term unemployed, accounting for 20.7% of the total unemployed, showed little change, numbering 1.4 million.
  • Part-time employment for economic reasons involved approximately 4.4 million individuals, maintaining consistency with previous months.
  • About 5.7 million people were not in the labor force but wanted a job, showing minimal change from previous reporting periods.

Sectors with Notable Job Growth in May:


The sector continued to lead job growth with 68,000 new jobs added.

This increase was particularly evident in ambulatory health care services, hospitals, and nursing and residential care facilities.


Employment rose by 43,000, reflecting a steady and robust increase consistent with the growth observed throughout the past year.

This upward trend highlights the ongoing resilience and expansion of the job market.

Leisure and Hospitality

The sector added 42,000 jobs, largely driven by significant contributions from food services and drinking places.

This growth underscores the ongoing recovery and expansion within the leisure and hospitality industry.

Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services

This sector experienced substantial growth, adding 32,000 new jobs.

The most notable gains were observed in management, scientific, and technical consulting services.

Other Noteworthy Job Trends in May:

Social Assistance

Jobs in this sector increased by 15,000, bolstered predominantly by growth in individual and family services.

This surge reflects the rising demand for support within communities, underscoring the essential role these services play in society.

Retail Trade

Continuing its upward trend, the retail trade sector added 13,000 jobs in May.

This growth was led primarily by gains in building material and garden equipment dealers, highlighting the sector’s steady expansion.

  • Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 14 cents to $34.91, reflecting a 4.1% increase over the past year.
  • The average workweek for all employees remained steady at 34.3 hours.

The robust job additions in May, along with consistent wage growth, suggest that the U.S. labor market is not only expanding but also adapting to dynamic economic conditions.

This continuous growth, highlighted by significant contributions from key sectors, supports a broader economic resilience, even as the market faces new challenges and opportunities.

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