The Conference Board uses cookies to improve our website, enhance your experience, and deliver relevant messages and offers about our products. Detailed information on the use of cookies on this site is provided in our cookie policy. For more information on how The Conference Board collects and uses personal data, please visit our privacy policy. By continuing to use this Site or by clicking "OK", you consent to the use of cookies. 
Press Release / News
Strong late cycle job growth trend shows more signs of boosting wages
01 June, 2018


Comment on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Situation Report

Brian Schaitkin, Senior Economist, The Conference Board

The US labor market continues to tighten as the creation of 223,000 jobs in May helped drive the unemployment rate down to 3.8 percent, its lowest rate since December 1969. Tightening labor markets led to a small acceleration in average hourly earnings to 2.7 percent during the last 12 months through May, compared to 2.6 percent last month. Today’s pickup in wage growth will increase the likelihood of the Federal Reserve raising interest rates three more times during 2018. Given the strong economic environment and increased signs of upward pressure on prices, faster wage growth represents an additional signal to the bank that the economy is bumping up against capacity constraints.

Job growth was broad based in May with lagging sectors like retail trade joining booming sectors like transportation and warehousing in positive territory. The manufacturing sector too saw continued job growth, suggesting that shortages of blue collar workers, and upward wage pressure in those occupations, will continue. With so many sectors creating new job opportunities, the number of workers who have been unemployed for more than six months has fallen by almost one-third during the past year.

For further information contact:

Carol Courter
1 212 339 0232
carol.courter@conference-board.org

Joseph DiBlasi
781.308.7935
Joseph.DiBlasi@conference-board.org

ECONOMIC INDICATORS

Leading Economic Index for:

  • Australia 0.1%
  • Brazil 1.0%
  • China 1.5%
  • Euro Area 0.5%
  • France 0.5%
  • Germany 0.5%
  • Global 0.5%
  • India 1.1%
  • Japan 0.4%
  • Korea 0.8%
  • Mexico 0.5%
  • Spain 0.3%
  • U.K. 0.2%
  • U.S. 0.2%
  • International Labor Comparisons:
  • Visit ILC website
  • Productivity:
  • Visit Total Economy Database™ website
  • Global Economic Outlook:
  • Visit Global Economic Outlook website