Payroll employment disappointed by rising a tepid 138,000 in May after gains were revised sharply lower for the previous two months. The composition of new jobs was bifurcated with the strongest gains in higher paying professional, technical fields and lower paying food services. The increase in professional hires reflects strength in the recruitment of college graduates, although the bulk of those increases is not expected to show up until June. We saw a rebound in administrative staffing and temporary hiring in May. The expansion in food services jobs was the fastest since last August, suggesting that automation is not yet the universal job destroyer predicted by some, even as minimum wages have risen.
Health care employment remained a driver of overall gains, but hiring has slowed considerably from last year’s pace, dropping by one-third on average this year.