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Blogging on Employment and Job Markets in US Metro Areas

May 2017 Nonfarm Payroll Update

As of May nonfarm payroll employment was 146.7 million (this is the preliminary figure from the BLS, and most likely will be adjusted in the coming months), an increase of 2.2 million from a year earlier. In percentage terms, this is an increase of 1.5% from a year earlier. May marks the 81st consecutive month of year-on-year employment growth. As can be seen in the chart below, the rate of employment growth has been declining since a peak in early 2015:

Nonfarm payroll year-on-year growth as of May 2017
Though the rate of employment growth has been slowing for over two years now, the prime age (25 to 54) labor force participation rate (LFPR) has been increasing since September 2015 (when it hit a low of 80.6%) and is now at 81.5%. This is still significantly below the prime age LFPR of the 1990s and 2000s expansions, suggesting there is still room for employment to grow (see the below FRED chart).

Prime Age (25 to 54) labor for participation rate 1990 thru May 2017