US Adds Jobs at a ‘Brisk’ Rate in May

Staffing Industry Analysts (06/02/23)

The number of US temporary help services jobs rose by 7,700 in May compared to April to more than 3.04 million, according to seasonally adjusted data released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. In addition, total nonfarm employment rose by 339,000 in May, with total jobs exceeding 156.1 million.

The change in temporary help services employment in March was revised upward to a loss of 3,300 from a loss of 18,900 jobs, and the previously estimated loss of 23,300 in April was revised to a loss of 6,900. With these revisions, temporary help services employment in April was 32,000 higher than previously reported.

Year over year, the number of temp jobs fell by 2.65%, or 82,800 jobs, since May 2022. The temp penetration rate — temp jobs as a percent of total nonfarm employment — remained at 1.95%, unchanged from April’s revised figure.

“Even as layoffs continue to make headlines, today’s jobs report shows that, on net, the US economy continues to add jobs at a surprisingly brisk rate,” said Timothy Landhuis, VP of research at Staffing Industry Analysts. “Employment at temporary staffing firms continues to hold steady, and appears to be stabilizing after declines earlier this year.”

The increase of 339,000 nonfarm payrolls far exceeded forecasts, with Bloomberg’s survey expecting 195,000 new jobs and Reuters’ survey expecting a gain of 190,000.

However, May’s gain in nonfarm employment is in line with the average monthly gain of 341,000 over the prior 12 months, according to the BLS. The BLS also announced revisions, with total nonfarm employment in March and April combined 93,000 higher than previously reported.

In May, job gains occurred in professional and business services, up by 64,000 jobs; government, up 56,000; healthcare, up 52,000; construction, up 25,000; transportation and warehousing, up 24,000; and social assistance, up 22,000. Employment was little changed over the month in other major industries.

Meanwhile, the US unemployment rate rose to a seven-month high of 3.7% in May, up from a 53-year low of 3.4% in April. The increase was mostly driven by Black workers. It was also partly the result of more people entering the labor force, an increase in supply that is reducing pressure on businesses to raise wages, Reuters reported.

The college-level unemployment rate — which can serve as a proxy for professional employment — rose to 2.1% from 1.9% in April.

Persons who lost their jobs or completed temporary jobs increased by 318,000 to 3.0 million in May, offsetting a decrease in the previous month.

For more on the employment situation, please see the “June 2023 US Jobs Report” by Staffing Industry Analysts.

This article originally appeared on Use this link to see the full article: US ADDS JOBS AT ‘BRISK’ RATE IN MAY, UP 339,000 EVEN AS UNEMPLOYMENT RATE HITS 7-MONTH HIGH; TEMP JOBS RISE