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U.S. Loses 1,200 Temp Jobs in May

June 03 2011

The number of U.S. temporary help jobs edged down by 1,200 in May from April, to a total of approximately 2.24 million, according to seasonally adjusted numbers reported today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, the number of temporary jobs was still up by 9.1 percent compared with the same month a year ago.

The temporary help penetration rate was at 1.71 percent in May, unchanged from April.

In addition, revised data in today’s BLS report show the number of temp jobs edged down by about 1,600 in April from March instead of the loss of 2,300 initially reported.

The employment services category, which includes temporary help services as well as employment placement agencies, executive search services and professional employer organizations, lost 2,200 jobs in May for a total of approximately 2.91 million jobs.

Overall, total U.S. nonfarm employment rose by 54,000 jobs in May, to a total of 131.0 million, seasonally adjusted. The employment gain in April was revised down to 232,000 from the initially reported gain of 244,000. March’s gain was revised down to 194,000 from the initially reported 221,000.

The jobless rate edged up to 9.1 percent in May from 9.0 percent in April. The college-level unemployment rate, which can serve as a proxy for professional employment, was 4.5 percent (seasonally adjusted) in May, unchanged from April.

The private sector gained 83,000 jobs in May, which was offset by losses in the government sector of 29,000. Losses in the government sector came mostly from the local levels (-28,000).

The goods-producing sector gained 3,000 jobs. Mining and logging added 6,000, and construction added 2,000. However, manufacturing shed 5,000 jobs.

The service-producing sectors added 80,000, the bulk of which came from healthcare and social assistance, which gained 27,200 jobs in May, and professional and business services, which added 44,000 jobs.

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