U.S. employers hired 217,000 new workers in May, sending the nation’s payrolls way past the highest level before the financial recession while the unemployment rate hovered near a six-year low.
The Labor Department reported that jobless rate remained stable at 6.3 percent as the economy continues to strengthen and business confidence improves. Though, the number of new workers hired in May was less than 282,000 workers absorbed in April, it exceed the average estimate of a 215,000 gain forecasted by economists in a Bloomberg poll.
The improving labor market is expected to influence the Federal Reserve to continue reducing the monetary stimulus.
“We’re seeing the continuation of solid payrolls gains, which is an accomplishment for the economy and will boost consumer and business fundamentals,” Laura Rosner, a New York-based U.S. economist at BNP Paribas told Bloomberg. “We’re slowly moving in the direction of stronger earnings growth, which is really what we need to see for the recovery to continue.”
Private employers hired an additional 216,000 new workers last month. The number of payrolls, when adjusted for government agencies, rose to 116.1 million in March, exceeding the level set just before the recession. Private service firms added 198,000 new workers, while factories hired 10,000 employees mostly due to increased hiring in auto-assembly plants. Health and education services boosted workers by 63,000 in May.
The Labor Department also revealed that average earnings per hour grew 0.2 percent to $24.38 in May, up from $24.33 in May. The earnings have gone up 2.1 percent over the past one year. The underemployment rate, which includes those who are willing to work but have given up and part-time employees who are looking for a permanent role, declined to 12.2 percent, the lowest level since October 2008. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.
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