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More temps, but Census fuels job numbers

June 04 2010

U.S. temporary help payrolls rose by 31,000 in May while total nonfarm payrolls rose by 431,000 jobs with a boost from U.S. Census hiring, according to seasonally adjusted numbers released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The U.S. unemployment rate edged down to 9.7% in May from 9.9% in April.

Hiring of 411,000 temporary employees to work on the 2010 U.S. Census boosted the job numbers -- total private employment rose by only 41,000. The Census jobs weren't included among U.S. temporary payrolls, but were included under government hiring in the BLS report.

U.S. temporary help payrolls totaled almost 2.09 million jobs in May with the gain of 31,000, according to the BLS. Since September 2009, the number of temporary help services jobs has risen by 362,000.

The temporary penetration rate rose to 1.60% in May from 1.58% in April.

During May, the employment services category overall added 34,400 jobs for total employment of 2.76 million. The employment services category includes employment placement agencies, temporary help services, executive search services and professional employer organizations.

Total U.S. nonfarm employment reached 130.57 million in May, up 431,000 from April with the addition of the 411,000 temporary workers for the Census.

Manufacturing employment rose by 29,000 jobs in May. The manufacturing category has added 126,000 jobs in the past five months.

Healthcare added 8,000 jobs in May. However, it had added an average of 20,000 jobs per month over the prior 12 months.

Construction employment fell by 35,000 jobs, largely offsetting gains in the prior two months.