Newly-released data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) confirms the US economy added 175,000 jobs in May — 7,000 of which were in the construction sector. At the same time, May’s positive employment numbers resulted in a slight uptick in the unemployment rate, from 7.5% to 7.6%, as more job seekers have reentered the market, according to Bloomberg News.
The good news in construction comes by way of an increase of 7,000 jobs in May. Enthusiasm regarding the gain is tempered by the 6,000 construction jobs lost in April. Specialty Trade Contractors posted the highest gains in May, while residential construction employment remains measurably higher than non-residential employment. Nonetheless, the construction industry as a whole continues to show resilience in a still-struggling economy.
The effects of the Sequester were felt throughout the government in May as 9,400 federal agency jobs (excluding the Postal Service) were cut. Wages remained flat with average hourly earnings of $23.89 in May versus $23.88 in April.