The May employment report released on Friday June 6th ran counter to some expectations. The U.S. Labor Department announced 217,000 new jobs were added during the month and that the unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.3 percent.
Analysts predicting a gain of 210,000-215,000 payroll additions in May were surprised Wednesday when payroll processor ADP’s monthly jobs report estimated a mere 179,000 new jobs. Now, with the government showing a fourth consecutive month of gains over 200,000, there’s greater confidence that job creation on a national level is finally gaining momentum.
These gains are steadying a trend that is encouraging, with more good news expected through the summer and into the third and fourth quarter for the year.
With May’s payroll additions, employment now stands at 138.46 million, just above the peak in January 2008.
All but 1,000 of the new jobs were created by the private sector. Goods producers — those involved in manufacturing (+10,000), mining (+2,100), and construction (+6,000) — added a net 18,000 new jobs.
The service sector added 198,000 jobs. Sectors with the biggest gains here were:
• Healthcare +33,600;
• Restaurants and bars, +31,700;
• Temp and other employment services, +20,200;
• Transportation and warehousing, +16,400;
• Retail trade, +12,500, with automotive (+6,800) and general merchandise (+5,300) leading the way.
State and federal government shed a combined 10,000, while local governments added 11,000.
A Bloomberg survey of nearly 100 economists early in May found that the average of their monthly job growth predictions was 225,000. That’s not too far off the actual 214,000 so far this year. Last year, the average was 194,000.