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Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

Total nonfarm employment in the United States increased by a stronger than expected 280,000 jobs in May while the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons rose slightly to 5.5 percent and 8.7 million respectively, according to ‘THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION — MAY 2015’ released by the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. The jobs report is available at

Over the year, the May 2015 jobs report revealed the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons were down by 0.8 percentage point and 1.1 million respectively.

In May, job gains occurred most in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and health care. Among specific industries, the May jobs report revealed:

  • Professional and business services employment added 63,000 jobs in May and 671,000 jobs over the year.
  • Leisure and hospitality employment increased by 57,000 jobs in May.
  • Health care employment increased by 47,000 jobs in May. Over the past year, health care has added 408,000 jobs.
  • Construction employment in rose by 45,000 jobs in May. Over the past 12 months, construction has added 280,000 jobs.
  • Retail trade employment edged up in May with 31,000 jobs added. Over the prior 12 months, the industry added an average of 24,000 jobs per month.
  • Construction employment added 17,000 jobs in May and has increased by 273,000 over the past year.
  • Transportation and warehousing employment added 13,000 jobs in May.
  • Financial activities employment added 13,000 jobs in May. Over the past 12 months, the industry has added 160,000 jobs.
  • Mining employment in fell by 17,000 jobs in May. Employment in mining has decreased by 68,000 thus far this year, after increasing by 41,000 in 2014.
  • Employment in other major industries, including manufacturing, wholesale trade, information, and government showed little change over the month.

The May jobs report also revised the change in total nonfarm payroll employment for March from 85,000 jobs added to 119,000 jobs added while the change for April was revised from 223,000 jobs added to 221,000 jobs added. With these revisions, employment gains in March and April combined were 32,000 jobs more than previously reported. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 207,000 per month.

The Employment Situation for June 2015 is scheduled to be released on July 2, 2015.

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