Labor Force Participation Drops 0.2%

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Express Employment Professionals releases report that labor force participation rate sees largest decline in six months.

Reversing an almost two-year long trend in which the number of people looking for work had inched up, the labor force participation rate dropped by 0.2 percent in May, a discouraging note in a less than robust monthly report on unemployment.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today that the unemployment rate dropped from 4.4 percent to 4.3 percent, with 138,000 new jobs created last month, while the labor force participation rate declined from 62.9 percent in April to 62.7 percent in May. The rate hit a modern-day low of 62.4 percent in September 2015, but it climbed to 63 percent in March this year.

“The labor force participation rate needs to hold steady or go up in order for wages to grow and the economy to surge,” said Bob Funk, CEO of Express Employment Professionals, and the former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. “Today’s report is a discouraging note.”

The Labor Force Participation Rate:

2012    63.7    63.8    63.8    63.7    63.7    63.8    63.7    63.5    63.6    63.8    63.6    63.7
2013    63.6    63.4    63.3    63.4    63.4    63.4    63.3    63.3    63.3    62.8    63.0    62.9
2014    62.9    62.9    63.1    62.8    62.8    62.8    62.9    62.9    62.8    62.9    62.9    62.7
2015    62.9    62.7    62.7    62.8    62.9    62.6    62.6    62.6    62.4    62.5    62.5    62.7
2016    62.7    62.9    63.0    62.8    62.6    62.7    62.8    62.8    62.9    62.8    62.6    62.7
2017    62.9    63.0    63.0    62.9    62.7                            

Source: The Bureau of Labor Statistics

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If you would like to arrange for an interview with Bob Funk to discuss this topic, please contact Sheena Karami, corporate communications and PR director, at (405) 717-5966.

About Robert A. Funk
Robert A. “Bob” Funk is chairman and chief executive officer of Express Employment Professionals. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the international staffing company has more than 770 franchises in the U.S., Canada and South Africa. Under his leadership, Express has put more than 6 million people to work worldwide. Funk served as Chairman of the Conference of Chairmen of the Federal Reserve and was also the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

About Express Employment Professionals
Express Employment Professionals puts people to work. It generated $3.05 billion in sales and employed a record 510,000 people in 2016. Its long-term goal is to put a million people to work annually. For more information, visit ExpressPros.com.

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Sheena Karami
Express Employment Professionals
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