In May there were good gains in both construction and manufacturing. The total number of seasonally adjusted (SA), non-farm people employed in the U.S. in May was 148.662 million (M), a relatively flat increase of 0.15% month on month, (m/m). Over the past 12 months the U.S. economy has added 1.77M jobs, or +1.7% for an average of 148,000 per month.

The SA service providing sector employed 128.046 people in May up 176,000 jobs, 0.13% m/m and higher by 1.76M or 1.4% y/y. Service providing employment in March accounting for 86.1% of the non-farm workforce.

The SA goods producing sector employed 20.616M people in May, up 47,000, (+0.07%), m/m and up by 634,000 or 3.2% y/y. On a percentage basis, the goods producing sector is creating twice as many jobs as the service providing segment, a significant change.

employ-ind-fig1Figure 1 shows manufacturing and construction employment on the same chart from 2005 to present. Both manufacturing and construction employment are showing growth, construction is growing at a faster rate on a percentage basis.

The SA manufacturing sector employed 12.673M in May, up 18,000 or 0.14%, m/m and higher by 259,000 (2.1%), y/y. The two largest employment categories within manufacturing are motor vehicles and parts and transportation equipment. There were 956,700 employed in the manufacture of motor vehicles and parts, -4,400 change m/m. On a y/y basis, jobs in this sector were higher by 13,600 or +1.4%. The transportation equipment field employed 1.654M. Jobs in this sector were up by 1,400, and were stronger by 38,200, +2.1% y/y.

The construction sector employed a total of 7.210M, up 25,000 m/m and up by 286,000, (4.1%), y/y. Most construction workers are employed constructing buildings. In May there were 1.598M workers constructing buildings, up 0.1% m/m and 4.1% y/y. Heavy civil engineering was the next largest construction segment employing 1.009 in May, up 0.5% m/m and higher by 1.7% y/y.

At Gerdau, we keep a keen eye on the employment numbers, especially manufacturing and construction since this is where most long product steel ends-up. In addition we know that growth in net job creation correlates to increased steel consumption.