Nonfarm payrolls grew by 138,000 in May, a smaller-than-expected gain that masked an otherwise robust labor market. The weak performance was due in part to substantial upward revisions in the March and April employment figures. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate continued it's downward trend, falling from 4.9% in April to 4.8% last month - the lowest level since October 1973. The employment-to-population ratio edged up 0.1% over the same period, to a record high of 63.9% and average hourly earnings rose 4 cents to $12.19, 3.8% above last May's level.
Suggested citation: “Labor Markets,” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Trends, no. 97-06, pp. 11, 06.01.1997.