Rising employment in transportation, warehousing and manufacturing were among the few bright spots in the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report, issued on Friday, June 1st. Overall, nonfarm payroll employment changed little in May (adding only 69,000 jobs), and the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 8.2 percent.
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) rose from 5.1 to 5.4 million in May. These individuals accounted for 42.8 percent of the unemployed.
Transportation and warehousing added 36,000 jobs over the month. Truck transportation added 7,000 jobs. Employment in wholesale trade rose by 16,000 over the month. Since reaching an employment low in May 2010, this industry has added 184,000 jobs.
Manufacturing employment continued to trend up in May (+12,000) following a similar change in April (+9,000). Job gains averaged 41,000 per month in the first quarter of this year. In May, employment rose in fabricated metal products (+6,000) and in primary metals (+4,000). Since its most recent low in January 2010, manufacturing employment has increased by 495,000.
Construction employment declined by 28,000 in May, with job losses occurring in specialty trade contractors (-18,000) and in heavy and civil engineering construction (-11,000).
Since reaching a low in January 2011, employment in construction has shown little change on net.