by Donna Farrugia, CEO Nelson
The May Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job report contains data that we found interesting and relevant to our business. It also includes information that can be of use to our clients as well, and, for that reason, we took some time to highlight the most pertinent pieces.
While unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.3% in May, total employment rose by 217,000. Professional and business services, health care and social assistance, food services and drinking places, and transportation and warehousing all saw employment increases this past month. Durable goods added 17,000 jobs in May and has accounted for a net job gain in manufacturing over the past 12 months. Construction, wholesale and retail trade, information, financial activities, and government showed little change over the month.
The average workweek for all employees on private payrolls was unchanged at 34.5 hours in May. The manufacturing workweek increased slightly to 41.1 hours, and factory overtime was unchanged at 3.5 hours. Average hourly earnings for all employees rose to $24.38 and average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased to $20.54. The number of unemployed reentrants increased by 237,000 in May.
In the staffing industry, employment in temporary help services continued its upward trend, adding 14,000 jobs in May and 224,000 over the past year. We’re now seeing the strongest sustained pace since August 2012. While search and placement services decreased slightly, staffing employment, as a whole, increased by 63,700 in May. On a year-to-year basis, there were 8.6% more staffing employees in May than in the same month last year.
The current level of employment, 138.5 million, exceeds pre-recession level for the first time in our nearly five-year recovery. “Clearly the labor market is picking up some momentum,” says Dun & Bradstreet chief economist Paul Ballew. “At some point that’s going to translate into wage increases.” And that’s good news for all.