This Employment Blog is taken from the U S Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 390,000 in May, and the unemployment rate remained at 3.6 percent. Notable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, in professional and business services, and in transportation and warehousing. Employment in retail trade declined. Nonfarm employment is down by 822,000, or 0.5 percent, from its February 2020 level before the onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In May, employment growth continued in leisure and hospitality (+84,000), with gains in food services and drinking places (+46,000) and accommodation (+21,000). Employment in leisure and hospitality is down by 1.3 million, or 7.9 percent, from its February 2020 level.
Employment in professional and business services increased by 75,000 in May and is 821,000 above its February 2020 level. Job gains in May occurred in accounting and bookkeeping services 2 (+16,000), computer systems design and related services (+13,000), and scientific research and development services (+6,000).
Transportation and warehousing added 47,000 jobs in May, with gains in warehousing and storage (+18,000), truck transportation (+13,000), and air transportation (+6,000). Employment in transportation and warehousing is 709,000 above its February 2020 level.
Employment in construction increased by 36,000 in May, with growth in specialty trade contractors (+17,000) and heavy and civil engineering construction (+11,000). Construction employment is 40,000 higher than in February 2020.
In May, employment increased by 36,000 in state government education and by 33,000 in private education. Employment in local government education was little changed (+14,000). Compared with February 2020, employment in state government education is up by 27,000, while employment in private education has essentially recovered. Employment in local government education is 308,000 lower than its February 2020 level.
Health care employment rose by 28,000 in May, with most of the job growth in hospitals (+16,000). Employment in health care is 223,000 below its February 2020 level.
Manufacturing employment continued to trend up in May (+18,000). However, employment in the industry is slightly below (-17,000) its February 2020 level.
Employment in wholesale trade rose by 14,000 in May but is 41,000 lower than in February 2020.
Mining employment increased by 6,000 in May. Since a recent low in February 2021, mining employment has grown by 80,000.
Retail trade employment declined by 61,000 in May, with job losses in general merchandise stores (-33,000), clothing and clothing accessories stores (-9,000), food and beverage stores (-8,000), building material and garden supply stores (-7,000), and health and personal care stores (-5,000). Despite the decrease in May, employment in retail trade is 159,000 higher than in February 2020.
Employment showed little change over the month in other major industries, including information, financial activities, and other services
Real average hourly earnings for all employees decreased 0.6 percent from April to May, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This result stems from an increase of 0.3 percent in average hourly earnings combined with an increase of 1.0 percent in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U). Real average weekly earnings decreased 0.7 percent over the month due to the change in real average hourly earnings combined with no change in the average workweek.