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May 2022 Employment Data Digest


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May 2022 Employment Data Digest

  • The U.S. economy added 390,000 jobs in May, a slowdown in pace from the 436,000 jobs added in April. 
  • The overall unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.6 percent. The unemployment rate for people ages 55+ was also unchanged at 2.7 percent. The unemployment rate for 55+ men declined from 2.8 percent to 2.6 percent and was unchanged at 2.7 percent for 55+ women.
  • In May, the percentage of jobseekers ages 55+ who were long-term unemployed was 31.8 percent, compared to 21.3 percent among those ages 16 to 54. 
  • The labor force participation rate (seasonally adjusted) for the 55+ increased slightly from 38.7 percent to 38.9 percent. The rate also increased for those ages 65 and older, from 18.9 percent to 19.2 percent (unadjusted). 


  • 390,000 jobs added in May ↓
  • Unemployment rate: 3.6 percent ↔
  • Number of unemployed persons: 6 million ↑
  • Labor force participation rate: 62.3 percent ↑
  • Long-term unemployed ages 16–54: 21.3 percent ↓  


  • 37.3 million 55+ workers employed in May ↑
  • 55+ unemployment rate: 2.7 percent ↔
  • Number of 55+ unemployed persons: 1 million ↔
  • 55+ labor force participation rate:        38.9 percent ↑
  • 55+ long-term unemployed: 31.8 percent ↓

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics. Arrows denote a directional change from the prior month.

About the PPI Monthly Employment Data Digest

The AARP Public Policy Institute’s (PPI) latest monthly digest of employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) examines the findings from the Employment Situation Report. It takes a closer look at employment data for people ages 55 and over, including labor force participation, employment rates, and duration of unemployment. 

For more analysis from PPI expert Jennifer Schramm on employment trends and older workers, see our blog

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