The most important charts from May’s really good jobs report

The US jobs engine really seems to be running pretty well at the moment. The just-released update on employment showed the US economy produced 217,000 new jobs in May, with unemployment standing pat at 6.3%. May’s report makes it four straight months in which the US economy produced 200,000 jobs or more. That hasn’t happened since the economic boom of the late 1990s, when the country strung together five straight 200,000-plus months between September 1999 and January 2000.

Here are some of the most telling charts from the May update.

A long road back


The unemployment rate held steady at 6.3%.


…Even as the labor force grew by 192,000

US-labor-force-month-on-month-change-in-thousands-US-labor-force-month-on-month-change-in-thousands_chartbuilder (2)

And unemployment rate for men, which has lagged, is improving faster too


The broader U-6 gauge of unemployment was down to 12.2%, lowest since October 2008

U-6-unemployment-rate-U-6-unemployment-rate_chartbuilder (1)


Unemployment spells are getting shorter

Median-duration-of-unemployment-in-US-in-weeks-Median-duration-of-unemployment-in-US-in-weeks_chartbuilder (1)

Wage growth isn’t great


Labor force participation remains low, reflecting the tough job market and an aging population

US-labor-force-participation-rate-US-labor-force-participation-rate_chartbuilder (1)

But even in the working-age population, the share of those with jobs is low, by recent historical standards

US-working-age-employment-to-population-ratio-US-working-age-employment-to-population-ratio_chartbuilder (1)


home our picks popular latest obsessions search