BLS: Job Growth Remains Steady in May


Staffing Employment Up 7.5% From a Year Ago

Seasonally adjusted employment data released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that staffing firms added 25,600 new jobs from April to May (up 1.0%). In a year-to-year comparison, temporary help employment for the month was 7.5% higher than in May 2012.

Nonseasonally adjusted BLS data, which estimate the actual number of jobs in the economy, indicated that the staffing industry added 70,500 new jobs (up 2.7%) from April to May of this year. On a year-to-year basis, there were 6.5% more staffing employees in May than in the same month last year.

“While there were some bright spots in the May BLS data, we are still not seeing the kind of widespread employment growth that we need to reduce the unemployment rate and put more Americans back to work.” says Richard Wahlquist, president and chief executive officer of the American Staffing Association. “Staffing firms report increases in demand across a number of sectors while others remain relatively flat as businesses remain hesitant to add to their headcount.”

Overall U.S. nonfarm payroll employment increased by 175,000 jobs in May and the unemployment rate edged up slightly from 7.5% to 7.6%. Over the past 12 months, employment growth has averaged 172,000 jobs per month, down from an average of 186,500 jobs per month over the prior 12 month period.

Sectors adding jobs to the economy included professional and business services (+57,000), food services and drinking place (+38,000), retail trade (+28,000), and health care (+11,000). Employment in other major industries showed little or no change during May.

BLS also provides employment estimates for search and placement firms, but those are nonseasonal only, and reports lag one month. Friday, BLS reported that search and placement employment in April was up 2.5% from March, totaling 280,000 jobs for the month. In a year-to-year comparison, April employment was up 3.9% from the same month in 2012.

You can also visit the ASA Newsroom and follow ASA on Twitter.

Interviews with ASA executives are available.


About the American Staffing Association

The American Staffing Association is the voice of the U.S. staffing, recruiting, and workforce solutions industry. ASA and its state affiliates advance the interests of the industry across all sectors through advocacy, research, education, and the promotion of high standards of legal, ethical, and professional practices. For more information about ASA, visit

Related Articles

ASA Workforce MonitorMore than three-quarters of employed U.S. adults (79%) are satisfied with their employers’ pandemic-related return-to-work plans. Download the infographic »

Stay Up-to-Date

Get the latest Covid-19 info & resources for staffing companies.

Follow ASA on the web