US job market looks solid 8 years after recession ended

Jon Howard
June 3, 2017

US employers pulled back on hiring in May by adding only 138,000 jobs.

Analysts expect the Labor Department to report that the economy - private and public sectors - added 185,000 net new jobs last month.

Taken as a whole, the jobs report could give the Fed more confidence to raise rates by a quarter percentage point at its meeting later this month.

He noted the job creation was almost three times what was needed to absorb new entrants into the labor force and predicted that, "increasingly, businesses' number one challenge will be a shortage of labor". North said. The job creation at this point in the recovery is still solid.

With revisions to March and April's job totals that show 66,000 fewer jobs created than initially reported, the three-month average swooped down to 121,000. That's because employers are struggling to find available workers now that the unemployment rate is near rock-bottom. The survey of households from which the jobless rate is derived also showed a drop in employment. But it is worth paying close attention to the industry's direction; there are almost 16 million retail jobs in the U.S. Manufacturing, which tends to get far more attention from politicians, employs 12 million people. Martin HeinrichMartin HeinrichUnemployment rate hits 16-year low as just 138K jobs added Intel chief has not talked with Trump about reported disclosure of classified info Dem senator: "One of our closest allies" expressed concern about intelligence sharing MORE (D-N.M.), ranking member of the Joint Economic Committee. According to the Economic Policy Institute, a think tank, it is "abundantly clear" the U.S. hasn't yet reached full employment.

The tepid average hourly earnings reading comes as annual inflation rates have retreated in recent months. The two forces have more or less offset over the past year, with the participation rate bouncing around but not really moving either up or down.

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The civilian labor force participation rate was 62.7%, a 0.2% decrease from April.

Separate reports Thursday solidified expectations that job growth for May was healthy.

"Through the volatility, we believe the trend in employment growth remains more than strong enough to keep unemployment trending down and the trend in wage gains upward", he said in a research note.

The labor market was largely expected to return to form last month after volatile weather made for sharp gyrations the first five months of the year. Health care added 24,000 jobs, while mining jobs grew by 7,000.

In the goods-producing sector, construction jobs were the leader with 11,000 jobs added during May.

Those people were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work and had looked for a job at some time during the prior 12 months. Ford Motor Co said last month it planned to cut 1,400 salaried jobs in North America and Asia through voluntary early retirement and other financial incentives. Retailers trimmed their ranks by 6,100.

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