Retail, professional services drive May US hiring

The U.S. economy created 175,000 jobs in May, a solid month of hiring that was spread across a number of industries directly tied to the consumer.

Retail hiring jumped by nearly 28,000 after a gain of 20,000 jobs in April. General merchandise stores, which include Target and Wal-Mart, added nearly 10,000 of those jobs, while clothing stores provided roughly 6,000.

Restaurants also staffed up, creating 38,000 jobs last month. And a category that includes casinos and amusement parks added 12,500 positions.

Many of these are likely low-paying jobs, some without benefits. Still, the growth in those fields suggests businesses expect consumers will keep spending this year, despite paying higher Social Security taxes.

The greatest job growth in May came from business and professional services: 57,000 jobs. While nearly half of those were temporary positions, many were in higher-paying fields like architecture, accounting and management consulting.

The weakest area of the economy continued to be manufacturing and government. Both industries cut jobs for the third straight month.

Here’s a look at the jobs added or lost in each major industry category:

Industry May April Past 12 months
Construction 7,000 -2,000 189,000
Manufacturing -8,000 -9,000 41,000
Retail 27,700 19,900 258,200
Transportation, warehousing -3,900 5,900 61,500
Information (Telecom, publishing) 3,000 -7,000 16,000
Financial services 4,000 9,000 90,000
Professional services (Accounting, temp work) 57,000 64,000 589,000
Education and health 26,000 37,000 363,000
Hotels, restaurants, entertainment 43,000 39,000 406,000
Government -3,000 -8,000 -58,000
Source: Labor Department

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