The American economy added 390,000 jobs in May as the unemployment rate remained at 3.6% for the third straight month, the U.S. Labor Department reported Friday.
A release from the department said that “notable” job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, and transportation and warehousing. Employment in retail trade, however, declined.
Among major worker groups, the unemployment rate for Asians fell to 2.4%, while the jobless rates for adult men (3.4%), adult women (3.4%), teenagers (10.4%), whites (3.2%), Blacks (6.2%) and Hispanics (4.3%) showed little or no change last month.
In addition, the number of long-term unemployed – those jobless for 27 weeks or more – declined to 1.4 million.
That category accounted for 23.2% of all unemployed persons in May. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh noted in a statement that 408,000 jobs on average have been created each month over the past three months.
“We remain focused on empowering all workers to seize these opportunities in a growing economy by working to improve job quality and job access all across the country,” he said. “Equity in our economy remains a top priority. While the unemployment rate held steady for most groups, the rate for Black workers remains nearly double that of white workers … . We continue to implement the Department’s Equity Action Plan, in partnership with agencies across the government and in line with the President’s Executive Order Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities, to ensure that everything we do removes the barriers facing those who have been underserved by our economy in the past.”
Paula Wolf is a freelance writer.