BLS Jobs Report: Economy Adds 217,000 Jobs, Unemployment Steady at 6.3 Percent

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its Employment Situation Summary for May, and the numbers are better than economists predicted. April's report was also higher than expected -- 288,000, instead of the 218,000 predicted. Unemployment, which dipped 0.4 percent to 6.3 percent in April, remained steady.

Bureau of Labor Statistics 

(Photo Credit: brownpau/Flickr)

"It took two years to wipe out 8.7 million American jobs but more than four years to gain them all back," writes Annalyn Kurtz at Forbes, noting that this means that the economy has replaced the jobs lost in the Great Recession. "...With that job growth, there are now more jobs in the country than ever before."

The first months of 2014 were plagued with lower job numbers, which some economists attributed to the weather. The Labor Department revised March and April's reports downward by 6,000 jobs net, according to the commissioner's statement, but job gains still averaged 234,000 per month for the past three months.

"That suggests the first quarter was an anomaly in terms of what the economy was and we are back to a decent pace of job creation. Overall it's a pretty solid report," says John Canally, an economist at LPL Financial in Boston, in an interview with Reuters.

Professional and business services added 55,000 jobs last month. The healthcare sector added 34,000 jobs -- twice its average monthly gain for the prior 12 months. Food services added 32,000 job in May. Transportation and warehousing added 16,000.

Manufacturing, mining and logging, construction, wholesale and retail trades, financial activities, information, and government were flat.

Average hourly earnings increased 5 cents to $24.38. The PayScale Index predicts a 0.8 percent growth in wages for the second quarter of 2014, after a 0.5 percent growth in wages for Q1.

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