Foodservice Equipment Reports

With 217,000 New Jobs In May, Employment Finally Reaches Pre-Recession Level

The U.S. economy added 217,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in May, the fourth consecutive month job gains have exceeded 200,000, according to the May employment report issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate held steady at 6.3%.

It was the first time since 1999 employment has increased by 200,000 or more for four months in a row. The increases lifted total employment to 145,814,000, finally exceeding, after six years, the employment peak of 2008. The U.S economy shed 8.7 million jobs during the recession.

Sectors driving the increase included professional and business services, with a 55,000 gain; education and health services, up 63,000; and leisure and hospitality, which posted a 39,000 increase. Within leisure and hospitality, foodservice and drinking-places employment grew by 32,000. Foodservice has created 311,000 new jobs in the past 12 months. Goods-producing sectors, including manufacturing and construction, had small but still positive increases.

Average weekly hours held steady in May while average weekly wages rose 5 cents to $24.38. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen 2.1%, the BLS reported.