Employers showed a decent appetite to hire in May, boosting payrolls by 157,000, the most in two months. The unemployment rate held steady at 4.5 percent.
Health care, education, professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and the government were among the sectors adding jobs in May.
The new report on labor activity was better than economists were expecting. They were forecasting employers to add just 135,000 jobs in May. They did, however, say they believed the overall unemployment rate would stay at 4.5 percent, considered relatively low by historical standards.
Employers boosted payrolls by 175,000 in March and by another 80,000 in April, according to revised figures released Friday. Job gains for each of those months were just a tad smaller than previously estimated.
Friday’s employment report was encouraging because it also indicated that companies are holding up well to the recent rise in gasoline and other energy costs.
Education and health services added 54,000 jobs last month. Professional and busineses services expanded employment by 32,000. Leisure and hospitality boosted payrolls by 46,000 and the government added 22,000 positions. Those gains help to blunt weankess elsewhere. Manufacturers shed 19,000 jobs and retailers cut 5,000. Construction employment showed no change.
Workers saw modest wage gains; average hourly earning rose to $17.30 in May, a 0.3 percent increase rom the previous month. That matched economists’ expectations. Over the last 12 months, wages grew by 3.8 percent.
Talk Show America 6/01/2007