Jobs report: US economy adds 339,000 jobs in May, crushing expectations

The May jobs report released Friday showed the US economy remains strong with more than 300,000 jobs created last month, while the unemployment rate rose to 3.7%.

The US economy added 339,000 nonfarm payroll jobs last month, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed Friday. This marks the 14th-straight month that job creation came in above what Wall Street economists had expected.

Friday’s report comes less than two weeks before the Federal Reserve’s next policy meeting, with investors still expecting the central bank will pause its rate hiking campaign despite the labor market’s surprising resilience. Data from the CME Group on Friday showed there remains a 70% chance the Fed leaves rate unchanged in a range of 5%-5.25%.

Here are the key numbers from the report compared to estimates from Bloomberg:

  • Nonfarm payrolls: +339,000 vs. +195,000

  • Unemployment rate: 3.7% vs. 3.5%

  • Average hourly earnings, month-on-month: +0.3% vs. +0.3%

  • Average hourly earnings, year-on-year: +4.3% vs. +4.4%

  • Average weekly hours worked: 34.3 vs. 34.4

Employment gains for the last two months were revised higher. Updated data revealed 294,000 jobs were created during April, 41,000 more than previously reported. March’s job gains were also revised higher — to 217,000 from 165,000 — making job growth over that two month stretch higher than previously reported by 93,000.

By industry, the largest increases in Friday’s data were seen in business and services which added 64,000 jobs. 

In Government, 56,000 jobs were added last month. Leisure and hospitality added 48,000 jobs, with 33,000 of those roles coming in the food services and drinking places category. 

Construction added 25,000 jobs in May, a 7,000 role increase from its 12-month average.

Josh is a reporter for Yahoo Finance.

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