WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. economy added 431,000 jobs in May, according to Keith Hall, commissioner of the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, the majority of the job growth could be attributed to the hiring of temporary workers for the U.S. Census.
Private-sector employment increased slightly, by 41,000 jobs over the month and overall unemployment edged down to 9.7 percent.
According to the data released today, overall private sector employment has increased by 495,000 since December. Manufacturing employment posted a gain of 29,000 jobs in May, and added a total of 126,000 jobs thus far in 2010. Employment growth also continued in temporary help services. A gain of 31,000 jobs in May was in line with the average increase over the prior three months, Hall said.
Employment in health care changed little (+8,000) in May, Hall said. The industry had added 20,000 jobs per month on average over the prior 12 months. Construction employment fell by 35,000 in May, largely wiping out two months of gains. Employment in other major industries showed little or no change, Hall said.
Overall, 15 million people remain unemployed, with 6.8 million out of work for 27 weeks or more.
Among the employed, the number of individuals working part time who preferred full-time work fell from 9.2 to 8.8 million, Hall said.
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