May BLS Jobs Report: Industry Breakdown

Posted on

Source: BLS jobs report

In May, the United States generated 217,000 new jobs, returning our employment rate back to pre-recession conditions. With this growth, the US has more jobs than it has seen in over four years – claiming 8.8 million new jobs since January 2008. The unemployment rate remained the same at 6.3 percent — this, following a 0.4 percentage decline in April. Over the year, the unemployment rate has dropped 1.2 percentage points, or 1.9 million people respectively.

In April, job growth continued to surpass 200,000 new jobs, improving upon March’s milestone of 175,000. Employment gains were widespread across sectors, and the professional and business services saw the largest increase, with an addition of 75,000 jobs. Temporary help continued its upward trend, gaining an average of 2.85 million jobs over the last year. Revised numbers were released in May, showing that we had gains of 282,000 jobs in April, not 288,000.

Employment gains were widespread across sectors with the highest gains led by professional and business services, healthcare and leisure and hospitality.Here are some key sector highlights from the BLS “The Employment Situation – May 2014” report:

Professional and Business Services

This industry reported strong job growth in May, with the addition of 55,000 jobs to the economy, the same number as its average monthly job gain over the last year. Subsectors such as computer systems design and related services added 6,600 jobs (1.75 million total workforce), management and technical consulting created 6,800 jobs (1.2 million total workforce) and temporary help services continued its upward trend generating 14,300 jobs (2.85 million total workforce). In total, 19.1 million Americans were employed within this sector last month.


This industry added 34,000 jobs during May, twice its monthly average for the past twelve months. Within this sector, ambulatory services generated 23,100 jobs (6.6 million total workforce), nursing and residential care facilities grew 3,600 jobs (3.25 million total workforce) and hospitals tripled from last month, adding 6,900 jobs (4.8 million total workforce). This growth indicates that the healthcare industry is at an all-time high in terms of job availability.

Leisure and Hospitality

This industry is also seeing record-breaking highs in job growth and saw a steady rise in May – generating 39,000 jobs. The total number of employed in this sector has reached 14.58 million people. Turning to the sub-sectors, food services and drinking places employment was particularly strong, with gains of 31,700 (10.6 million total workforce), while accommodations gained 2,700 jobs (1.9 million total workforce).


This sector did not see the same level of growth as last month, with only 6,000 new jobs added (6 million total workforce) compared to last month’s 32,000 new jobs. Within the sector, heavy and civil engineering added 3,200 jobs (914,700 total workforce) and residential building grew by 3,200 jobs (1.6 million total workforce). This shows that we are in recovery, but slowly returning to normal.


Employment in this sector showed slower but stead growth in May by adding 12,500 jobs to the economy. Total employed in this sector has reached 15.31 million and over the last 12 months employment has grown by 318,000. Within the industry, automotive dealers added 6,800 jobs (1.7 million total workforce), general merchandise stores grew by 5,300 jobs (3.1 million total workforce), health and personal care stores added 4,500 jobs (1 million total workforce), and motor vehicle and parts dealers added 2,900 jobs (1.8 million total workforce).

Temporary Help Services

This job sub-sector is still on the rise, reporting its 16th consecutive month of job creation in May – with an increase in employment of 14,000. This brings the yearly growth up to 224,000. Since May 2013, this sector has had an average of 2.85 million people employed. We are seeing an upward trend continue as the economy recovers from the last four years and businesses are taking advantage of temporary staffing solutions for their newest workforce needs.

Comments are closed.