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US - Temp jobs trend higher; penetration rate rises

June 07 2013

Year-over-year growth in U.S. temp employment rose by 7.46 percent in May, continuing a trend that began in February, according to seasonally adjusted numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Temporary employment’s share of total employment also rose in May, with temporary penetration increasing to 1.98 percent from 1.96 percent in April.

The U.S. added 25,600 temporary employment services jobs in May on a seasonally adjusted basis — making it one of the faster growing industries — for a total of 2.68 million jobs, although the number of temp jobs in April was revised down by 10,400 from the originally reported number. Other industries showing growth in May included food services and drinking places, which added 38,100 jobs, and retail trade, which added 27,700 jobs.

Total nonfarm employment rose by 175,000, in-line with expectations, according to analysts. And the U.S. unemployment rate rose to 7.6 percent in May from 7.5 percent in April.

The college-level unemployment rate edged down to 3.8 percent in May from 3.9 percent in April. The college-level unemployment rate can serve as a proxy for professional employment.

The healthcare industry added 10,700 jobs in May while construction added 7,000.

“With a gain of 175,000 jobs in May, the resilient labor market sustained moderate job gains this spring,” according to a statement by The Conference Board. “The sequester, along with the negative impact from slowing global trade, are being offset by the continued contribution from the revival in the housing market and stronger consumption. Construction is hiring to build new homes (and repair some existing homes). Manufacturing, however, is basically flat outside of auto assembly. The real story is a sustained pick up in the service sector.”

Click on charts below to enlarge.

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