May Jobs Report: 175,00 Jobs Added in May

jhThe Department of Labor reported on Friday that 175,000 non-farm payroll jobs were added in May, beating estimates of 165,000 and surpassing a revised 149,000 jobs expansion in April.

The U.S. unemployment ticked up slightly to 7.6 percent from 7.5 percent as more workers entered the labor force.

The labor participation rate also rose in May which is viewed as a good sign for the employment outlook.

The largest increase came in professional services with 38,000 coming from bars and restaurants and 28,000 in retail.

Manufacturing cut 8,000 jobs. Federal jobs declined 14,000.

Average hourly earnings were unchanged.

The health of the U.S. economy is being closely weighed as economists analyze employment data for signs that the U.S. economy is recovering in the wake of the Federal Reserve’s decision last year to pump $85 billion dollars of liquidity into the economy each month through its bond buying program known as quantitative easing (QE3), aimed at driving down interest rates and stimulating growth in the U.S. economy.

The U.S. jobs market is frequently used to gauge the effectiveness of the Federal Reserve’s loose monetary policy that has caused some recent controversy as economists debate the significance of an aggressive monetary policy amid some mixed U.S. data and a housing market that is clearly rebounding.

Some investors were expecting to see a market decline if the May jobs report significantly outperformed the consensus of 165,000 non-farm payroll job because it shows that the pattern of economic data in the broader economy is clearly in an upswing as Fed members in the Federal Reserve consider whether to gradually taper the level of its $85 billion bond buying program.

Steady gains in non-farm payroll job reports over the past six months has shown averaged job gains over 194,00 per month compared with averaged monthly gains of 140,000 in the previous six months.

During a question and answer session on Capitol Hill last month, Fed Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke admitted that the rate of the Fed’s bond purchases could slow in the next few meetings which suggested to many investors that the Fed Reserve may be planning to taper its support of aggressive monetary stimulus.  Fed members will meet in Washington D.C. on June 18 and 19th and a decision will be reached about whether the Fed is ready to taper their bond purchases.

The Department of Labor announced yesterday that initial claims for state unemployment benefits declined 11,000 to a seasonally adjusted 346,000, meeting economists’ expectations.

The Commerce Department reported last week that U.S. consumer spending in April dropped 0.2 percent, the lowest level since May of 2012 and U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was revised to 2.4 percent, adjusted for inflation, in the first quarter of 2013 after increasing 1.75 percent in 2012.




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