May Boom: Number of Employed Americans Sets 9th Record Under Trump

Susan Jones | June 1, 2018 | 8:47am EDT
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President Trump frequently mentions employment as one of his outstanding accomplishments, as he did at this rally in Nashville earlir this week. (Photo: Screen capture/C-SPAN)

( - "Looking forward to seeing the employment numbers at 8:30 this morning," President Trump tweeted early Friday.

And here they are: The number of employed Americans, 155,474,000, has broken another record -- for the ninth time since President Trump took office, in fact.

At the same time, the number of unemployed Americans dropped to 6,065,000, a low not seen since January 2001.  

This pushed the nation's unemployment rate down a tenth of a point to 3.8 percent, a level not seen since April 2000.

And there's more good news: The number of employed women 16 and over set another record (72,690,000); the number of employed men 16 and over is at an all-time high (82,784,000); and so is the number of employed African-Americans (19,092,000).

The unemployment rate for African-Americans dropped to 5.9 percent, a record low. It was 7.8 percent when President Trump took office in January 2017.

The unemployment rate for women 16+ is now at 3.6 percent, a low not seen since 1953.

In May, the nation’s civilian noninstitutionalized population, consisting of all people age 16 or older who were not in the military or an institution, reached 257,454,000. Of those, 161,539,000 participated in the labor force by either holding a job or actively seeking one.

The 161,538,000 who participated in the labor force equaled 62.7 percent of the 257,454,000 civilian noninstitutionalized population. The participation rate has not budged much in recent years, mainly due to the increasing number of Baby Boom retirees.

And also on the negative side, the number of American counted as not in the labor force, meaning they neither have a job nor are looking for one, has never been higher. In May, 95,915,000 Americans were counted as not in the labor force, the seventh time the record has been broken under President Trump.

The economy added 223,000 jobs in May, a strong number. After revisions, job gains have averaged 179,000 over the last 3 months.

In May, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 8 cents to $26.92. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 71 cents, or 2.7 percent.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.5 percent), Blacks (5.9 percent), and Asians (2.1 percent) decreased in May. The jobless rates for adult women (3.3 percent), teenagers (12.8 percent), Whites (3.5 percent), and Hispanics (4.9 percent) changed little over the month.

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