Economy adds 175,000 jobs in May, unemployment remains little changed

national retail federationData released by the U.S. Department of Labor on Friday showed that the economy added 175,000 jobs last month, while the unemployment rate rose slightly to 7.6 percent.

Professional and business services, food and beverage services and the retail industry saw the largest employment increases. Last month, the professional and business services sector added 57,000 jobs, the food and beverage services sector added 38,000 jobs and retail employment increased by 28,000 jobs.

“The labor market continues to show slow progress in this recovery,” National Retail Federation Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “While this report was slightly better than expected, we are still concerned about growth and from where it will come.  Fiscal headwinds remain in place. Job creation across retail sectors was wider in May than the previous two months, and we expect that we will gain some momentum in the second half of 2014.”

The retail industry has added an average of 20,000 jobs per month in the past year. Grocery stores saw the largest employment increase, adding 2,500 jobs. Department store employment accounted for 1,500 jobs, and clothing and accessory stores added approximately 1,400 jobs. Nonstore retailers, furniture and furnishings stores and specialty office and gift stores posted the lowest employment numbers.

Healthcare employment also increased last month by 11,000 jobs, while federal government employment fell by 14,000. Employment in other industries, such as construction, logging and mining, manufacturing, transportation and financial services changed little from April.

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