U.S. Workforce Analysis: May 2023 Update

I've updated our monthly workforce analysis to include the latest employment report for May. The unemployment rate rose to 3.7% and the number of new non-farm jobs (a relatively volatile number subject to extensive revisions) came in at 339K.

The Unemployment Rate

The closely watched headline unemployment rate is a calculation of the percentage of the civilian labor force, age 16 and older, that is currently unemployed. In the latest report, this indicator rose to 3.7%. The age 16+ population increased by 175,000 and the labor force increased by 130,000. The breakdown of the growth is a decrease of 310,000 employed and a 440,000 increase in the unemployed. Let's put this metric into its historical context. The first chart below illustrates this monthly data point since 1990.

Unemployment Rate since 1990