The Job Market June 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.


June, 2015

The U.S. Department of Labor said the economy added 280,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate in the US is now 5.5%. Economists believe that increase in unemployment was caused by a return of discouraged workers to making an effort to finding work.

Of those 280000 jobs, 210000 came about because the US Bureau of Labor Statistics believes that 210000 were created by small businesses they cannot prove exist that created jobs they cannot prove were created.

Yes, you did read that correctly.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (5.0 percent), adult women 
(5.0 percent), teenagers (17.9 percent), whites (4.7 percent), blacks (10.2 percent), Asians (4.1 percent),
and Hispanics (6.7 percent) showed little or no change in May.

The number of unemployed new entrants edged up by 103,000 in May but is about unchanged over the 
year. Unemployed new entrants are those who never previously worked. In other words, your recent grad 
who is sitting home without a job is typical according to the government. Don't give them a pass. Push them
to get out and job hunt (And order a resume critiqued from me to get them off to a good start).
In May, the civilian labor force rose by 397,000, and the labor force participation rate was little changed at 
62.9 percent. Since April 2014, the participation rate has remained within a narrow range of 62.7 percent to62.9 percent. The employment-population ratio, at 59.4 percent, was essentially unchanged in May. 

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary 
part-time workers) was about unchanged at 6.7 million in May and has shown little movement in recent 
months. These people, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because 
their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.
In May, 1.9 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down by 268,000 from a year earlier.(The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were 
available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as 
unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. 

Among the marginally attached, there were 563,000 discouraged workers in May, down by 134,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.3 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in May had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or 
family responsibilities.
Professional and business services added 63,000 jobs in May and 671,000 jobs over the year. In May, 
employment increased in computer systems design and related services (+10,000). Employment continued
to trend up in temporary help services (+20,000), in management and technical consulting services 
(+7,000), and in architectural and engineering services (+5,000).

Employment in leisure and hospitality increased by 57,000 in May, following little change in the prior 2 
months. In May, employment edged up in arts, entertainment, and recreation (+29,000). Employment
in food services and drinking places has shown little net change over the past 3 months.

Health care added 47,000 jobs in May. Within the industry, employment in ambulatory care services 
(which includes home health care services and outpatient care centers) rose by 28,000. 
Hospitals added 16,000 jobs over the month. Over the past year, health care has added 408,000

Employment in retail trade edged up in May (+31,000). Over the prior 12 months, the industry had added 
an average of 24,000 jobs per month. Within retail trade, automobile dealers added 8,000 jobs in May. 

Construction employment continued to trend up over the month (+17,000) and has increased by 273,000 
over the past year.

In May, employment continued on an upward trend in transportation and
warehousing (+13,000). Truck transportation added 9,000 jobs over the

Employment continued to trend up in financial activities (+13,000). Over the past 12 months, the industry has added 160,000 jobs, with about half of the gain in insurance carriers and related activities.

Employment in mining fell for the fifth month in a row, with a decline of 17,000 in May. The loss was in 
support activities for mining.Employment in mining has decreased by 68,000 thus far this year, after
increasing by 41,000 in 2014.
According to Glassdoor, there is high demand for workers from tech, professional services, health care and hospitality businesses. These industries are seeing some wage growth. When there is an imbalance of 
supply and demand employers need to offer slightly better wages
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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