“Employment continued to trend up in temporary help services (+20,000),” according to Erica L. Groshen, commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, commenting on the May jobs report released today. Seasonally adjusted staffing employment was up 0.7% from April and 5.8% from May 2014. Year-to-year staffing job growth also averaged 5.8% over the past 12 months.
Nonseasonally adjusted BLS data, which estimate the actual number of jobs in the economy, indicated that temporary help employment increased 2.8% from April to May. Year-to-year, there were 6.4% more staffing employees in May than in the same month last year.
“Businesses continue to turn to staffing firms for flexible workforce solutions and access to talent,” said Richard Wahlquist, president and chief executive officer of the American Staffing Association. “That’s good news for job seekers looking to bridge to new employment opportunities.”
Total U.S. nonfarm payroll employment rose by 280,000 jobs in May (seasonally adjusted), BLS reported. Incorporating revisions for March and April, the data showed that monthly job gains averaged 207,000 over the past three months, significantly less than the average of 251,000 for the prior 12 months.
The unemployment rate ticked back up slightly to 5.5% in May—up 0.1 percentage point from April.
BLS also released preliminary April employment data for search and placement services, which increased 0.7% from March, seasonally adjusted. Search and placement jobs totaled 316,900 in April, 9.9% higher than in the same month last year.
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