Saturday, September 23, 2023

Companies hired more employees in May

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. employers increased hiring in May, adding 339,000 jobs, well above expectations and evidence of enduring strength in an economy the Federal Reserve is trying hard to contain.

The government report released Friday showed the resilience of the labor market after more than a year of rapid interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. Many branches of the economy, from construction to restaurants to health care, continue to add jobs to keep up with consumer demand and restore their workforces to pre-pandemic levels.

However, there were some mixed messages in labor data, which showed the unemployment rate rose to 3.7% from a five-decade low of 3.4% in April. The government compiles unemployment data with a different survey than the one used to calculate employment growth. The two surveys may sometimes differ.

The length of the average work week also fell and wage growth cooled, making market conditions unusually tough for economists in the jobs report. Still, the overall picture was encouraging.

“Certainly job growth remains strong in a historically tight labor market,” said Joe Brusuelas, chief economist at consultancy RSM. “As long as the economy continues to produce more than 200,000 jobs a month, this economy is not going to go into recession.”

In Friday’s report, the government sharply upgraded its forecast for job growth by an additional 93,000 jobs in March and April, underscoring the stability of the labor market.

Average hourly wages in the United States rose 11 cents to $33.44, up 4.3% from a year earlier.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Desk
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