US sees fewer unemployed

16-06-2005

Contrasts highlighted in employment trends. Fewer people were jobless in the US in May than at any time since September 2001, with America�s unemployment rate dipping to 5.1%, the US Labor Department reports.

In contrast, however, the nation�s employers added the fewest jobs to their payrolls last month that they had in two years, labour officials also said. The addition of just 78,000 new jobs in May surprised economists, who had anticipated job growth last month to more than double that amount.

The retail and construction industries boosted their payrolls by a total of 30,000 jobs in May. Manufacturing was top of the industrial sectors shedding jobs during the same period, followed by leisure and hospitality and professional and business services.

Some analysts blamed high energy prices and increasing health-care costs for employers� caution in adding new hires to their payrolls.

The UK, however, is not expected to follow the US trends. While UK employers may do slightly less hiring in the next 12 months, chief economist John Philpott of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development predicts that the national employment picture will remain �relatively stable�, with an anticipated net gain of 150,000 to 200,000 jobs.

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