Jobs Report Comes in Way Stronger Than Expected

Employers added 339K jobs in May, above estimates of 190K
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 2, 2023 8:02 AM CDT
Jobs Report Comes in Way Stronger Than Expected
A hiring sign is posted in Downers Grove, Ill., Wednesday, April 12, 2023.   (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

The new jobs report is out, and it shows that American employers continue to hire workers at a pace that defies expectations, reports the Wall Street Journal. More:

  • New hires: Employers added 339,000 jobs in May, well above predictions of 190,000. Economists keep expecting to see a sharp slowdown in hiring this year, but the numbers keep telling a different story, per the Journal.
  • Rate: The unemployment rate ticked up to 3.7% from 3.4%, which is still near historic lows.
  • Streak: This is the 29th straight week of employment gains, notes CNBC. As the AP notes, "many industries, from construction to restaurants to health care, are still adding jobs to keep up with consumer demand and restore their workforces to pre-pandemic levels."
  • Implications: This is tricky news for the Fed, which meets again in less than two weeks. Because strong hiring can fuel inflation, the central bank was surely hoping for more modest job growth, notes the AP. While May's robust numbers could complicate the push to ease up on rate hikes, investors didn't seem too fazed. Dow futures were up more than 200 points Friday morning, helped in part by the Senate's passage of the debt ceiling increase.
  • Wages: Average hourly earnings were up 0.3% from April, which CNBC notes was in line with expectations. Wages were up 4.3% on an annual basis.
(Read more unemployment stories.)

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