Employment by Industry

Employment by Industry (U.S.): In May 2021, the total number of seasonally adjusted (SA), non-farm people employed in the U.S. was 144.9 million (M) – an increase of 559,000 (+0.4%) month on month (m/m). When compared to May 2020, total employment is up by 8.9% year on year (y/y).  We saw the greatest employment gains in the service-providing and manufacturing sectors this month.

The SA service-providing sector gained 556,000 jobs to reach total employment of 124.6M people in May, which is +0.4% m/m, and up 9.5% y/y. Service-providing employment in May accounted for 86.0% of the non-farm workforce.

The SA goods-producing sector employed 20.3M people in May – up 3,000 m/m (+0.01%), and up by 5.5% y/y. The goods-producing sector is creating jobs at a slower rate than the service-providing sector.

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Figure 1 shows seasonally-adjusted manufacturing and construction employment on the same chart from 2005 to present. Manufacturing employment grew this month while construction employment fell.

The SA manufacturing sector employed 12.3M people in May – up 23,000 m/m (+0.2%), and up 5.4% y/y. The two largest employment categories within manufacturing are 1) motor vehicles & parts, and 2) transportation equipment. This month, there were 891,100 employed in the manufacture of motor vehicles and parts, +25,000 change m/m. The transportation equipment field employed 1.6M workers. Jobs in this sector were up by 9,000 m/m.

The construction sector employed a total of 7.4M – down 0.3% m/m, but still up 6.0% y/y. Most construction workers are employed constructing buildings. In May there were 1.7M workers constructing buildings, up 0.3% m/m and 8.2% y/y. Heavy civil engineering was the next largest construction category, employing 1.1M in May – down 0.5% m/m, but still up 2.1% y/y. Although employment among those constructing buildings grew, job declines in other construction sectors attributed to May’s decline in job creation.  

At Gerdau, we keep an eye on national employment data – especially within manufacturing and construction – since this is where most long product steel is used. In addition, we know that growth in net job creation correlates to increased steel consumption.



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