May Job Report: U.S. Adds 339,000 Jobs

May saw 339,000 new jobs added, for another consecutive month of steady job growth, continuing the upward trend in employment for 2023.

The U.S. unemployment rate rose by 0.3 percentage points to 3.7% in May.

Is the U.S. job market growing?

In May 2023, employers surprised economists by adding a larger-than-expected 339,000 jobs to the labor market. This figure surpassed the 190,000 jobs that had been predicted prior to the report release.

The growth in hiring reflects the overall strengthening of the economy and indicates that businesses are becoming more optimistic about long-term prospects despite the current economic recession.

U.S. unemployment rates by group:

  • Adult women: 3.3%
  • Adult men: 3.5%
  • Teenagers: 10.3%
  • Whites: 3.3%
  • Blacks: 5.6%
  • Asians: 2.9%
  • Hispanics: 4%

Additional employment statistics for May 2023:

  • The number of discouraged workers, who believed that no jobs were available for them, rose slightly from 364,000 in April to 422,000 in May.
  • Average hourly earnings increased by 11 cents in May in addition to the increase of 9 cents in April.
  • The number of workers employed part-time for economic reasons dropped slightly to 3.7 million in May from 3.9 million in April.

U.S. industries with notable job growth in May

Professional and business services

Professional and business services jobs continue to trend upward adding 64,000 jobs in May.

In addition to that, professional, scientific, and technical services added 43,000 jobs.


In May, government employment increased by 56,000 jobs compared to the average monthly gain of 42,000 jobs in the prior 12 months.

Despite the modest gains in government employment in May, overall job numbers have still not recovered to pre-pandemic levels.


Healthcare job growth remained steady with 52,000 jobs added in May.

The subsectors trending upwards most were in ambulatory health care services, adding 24,000 jobs, nursing and residential care facilities, adding 9,000, and hospitals with 20,000 jobs added.

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