The Job Market: May 2015

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter, and his views on the job market.

“I have been blogging about the job market in the US and around the world since August 2001.”

What I write is not designed to be political or critical; they are my observations and sense of where we are and where we are going.


May, 2015

The U.S. Department of Labor said the economy added 223,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate in the US is now 5.4%. Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons were down by 0.8 percentage point and 1.1 million, respectively.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for Asians increased to 4.4 percent. The rates for adult men (5.0 percent), adult women (4.9 percent), teenagers (17.1 percent), whites (4.7 percent), blacks (9.6 percent), and Hispanics (6.9 percent) showed little or no change in April. 

The number of persons unemployed for less than 5 weeks increased by 241,000 to 2.7 million in April. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) changed little at 2.5 million, 
accounting for 29.0 percent of the unemployed. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term 
unemployed has decreased by 888,000. 

In April, the civilian labor force participation rate (62.8 percent) changed little. Since April 2014, the 
participation rate has remained within a narrow range of 62.7 percent to 62.9 percent. The employment-
population ratio held at 59.3 percent in April and has been at this level since January.

The number of jobs for March was revised downward to 85000 new jobs.

Professional and business services added 62,000 jobs in April. Over the prior 3 months, job gains 
averaged 35,000 per month. In April, services to buildings and dwellings added 16,000 jobs, following little change in March. Employment continued to trend up in April in computer systems design and related 
services (+9,000), in business support services (+7,000), and in management and technical consulting 
services (+6,000).

Health care employment increased by 45,000 in April. Job growth was distributed among the three major 
components--ambulatory health care services (+25,000), hospitals (+12,000), and nursing and residential 
care facilities (+8,000). Over the past year, health care has added 390,000 jobs.

Employment in construction rose by 45,000 in April, after changing little in March. Over the past 12 months, construction has added 280,000 jobs. In April, job growth was concentrated in specialty trade contractors
(+41,000), with employment gains about evenly split between the residential and nonresidential components. 
Employment declined over the month in nonresidential building construction (-8,000).

In April, employment continued to trend up in transportation and warehousing (+15,000).
What you don't know is that in this month, the US BLS added 210000 jobs to its 
numbers that they cannot prove were created by businesses that they can't prove 

Yes, you read that right. Almost all of the job changes came from a statistical 

And, even with that, all of us in recruiting are seeing strong hiring.

What do you see?

Is your firm hiring or laying off?

Do many of you see evidence of a slowdown in hiring (except in oil and gas) or are things growing?

If you do, email me at

(©) Jeff Altman, Asheville, NC 2015

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been a recruiter for more than 40 years.and is the Host of “Job Search Radio.” You can connect with me on LinkedIn and/or follow me at The Big Game Hunter, Inc. on LinkedIn for more articles, videos and podcasts than what are offered here and jobs he is recruiting for.

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