After a slight pause in April, the upward trend in employment resumed in May with an estimated increase of 42,000 jobs. This brought gains from May 1999 to May 2000 to 413,000 (+2.8%). May’s employment rise pushed the unemployment rate down 0.2 percentage points to 6.6%, the lowest since March 1976.
Full-time job gains
Full-time employment increased by an estimated 38,000 in May, more than offsetting the decline of 29,000 in April. Part-time employment was little changed.
From May 1999 to May 2000, full-time employment advanced 3.1% (+369,000) while part-time employment increased at a slower pace of 1.7% (+44,000).
Total hours worked were little changed in May from April, but were up 2.8% compared with May 1999, reflecting strong growth in full-time employment over the period.
The overall employment increase was concentrated among adult men aged 25 and over and youths (those 15 to 24). For adult men, employment increased by 20,000, as full-time employment bounced back (+31,000) from the decline in April. This continued the upward employment trend, and brought total gains among adult men to 158,000 (+2.4%) between May 1999 and May 2000. Almost all of the increase over this period was in full-time jobs. The unemployment rate among adult men edged down in May from April to 5.5% (-0.1 percentage points).
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