The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that total nonfarm employment increased last month by 280,000, with job gains mostly occurring in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and health care. However, employment in accounting and bookkeeping services declined a bit.
Despite the better-than-expected job gains last month, the unemployment rate ticked up a tenth of a point to 5.5 percent, mainly because of more people returning to the workforce. Hourly earnings also increased at the best pace since August 2013. In May, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 8 cents to $24.96.
Professional and business services added 63,000 jobs in May and 671,000 jobs for the year. Employment increased the most in that sector in computer systems design and related services, which added 10,300 jobs. Employment also continued to trend upward in temporary help services, adding 20,100 jobs, in management and technical consulting services, which added another 7,000 jobs, and in architectural and engineering services, with a gain of 4,500 jobs.
Accounting and bookkeeping services saw a decline of 5,800 jobs in May, but accountants nonetheless remain in high demand according to staffing companies.