38,000 Jobs Added in May

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), only 38,000 new jobs were added to the economy in May 2016. This figure demonstrates a much more dismal number than predicted by economists and the ADP who both reported numbers well over the 150,000 mark.  Despite these latest figures, the unemployment rate improved, falling to 4.7%. May’s jobs report is now the third month in a row that employment growth fell below 200,000 since 2014 and the lowest unemployment rate since November 2007. Economists believe these latest numbers will likely push back a decision by the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates.

Factors that impacted May’s jobs report include a loss of 3,000 factory jobs that have been negatively impacted by the decline in export services abroad and the recent strike at Verizon Communications Inc., which affected approximately 35,100 employees. These latest job numbers put employment growth for the last three months at an average of 116,000 per month for 2016. Consequently, underemployment remains a key concern among policy makers.

May 2016 Jobs Report

As predicted by economists, consumer spending increased slightly driving wage and economic growth. Let’s break down the numbers from May’s job report:

  •  Wages:
    • $25.59 May
    • $25.54 April
      • +5 cents month-over-month
      • +2.5% year-over-year
  • Unemployment:
    • 4.7% May
    • 5.0% April
      • -0.3% month-over-month
      • -0.8% year-over-year

In May, hourly wages rose $0.5 to$25.59 per hour, bringing the year-over-year wage percentage increase to 2.5%. The unemployment rate now sits at 4.7%.

In-Depth Look: Legal Industry

Let’s take a deeper dive into this month’s legal industry numbers:

  • Legal Services
    • Month-over-month change: +100
    • 3,800 jobs added since May of last year
    • Previous Months:
      • April -1,500
      • March: +1,200
      • February: -1,500
  • Professional and business services
    • Month-over-month change: +10,000
    • 525,000 jobs added since May of last year
    • Previous Months:
      • April +65,000
      • March: +33,000
      • February: +23,000

The subsector that includes the Legal Services reported an unemployment rate of 2.8%, up slightly from last month.

With small changes in employment numbers, understanding your workforce continues to be key to recruiting and retaining top legal talent.  The legal sector will soon have Generation Z graduates entering law offices this summer.  To learn more about what managing partners and senior attorneys can do to better understand Generation Z and onboard them onto their legal teams, we shared some tips in a recent article titled, Understanding Generation Z Lawyers and Legal Interns.

To ensure your office remains competitive and is considered a top employer for professionals, our 2016 Salary Guide is the top resource for insights on what to pay legal professionals in your city. Request your free copy today!

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