Job gains of 339,000 in May exceed expectations
Research - JUNE 2, 2023

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Job gains of 339,000 in May exceed expectations

by Loretta Clodfelter

The U.S. economy added 339,000 jobs in May — considerably more than forecast — and the unemployment rate ticked up to 3.7 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In addition, total nonfarm payroll employment gains in March and April were revised upward to 217,000 and 294,000, respectively.

Oxford Economics pointed to the divergence between the industry survey, with strong job growth, and the household survey, with rising unemployment, and noted, “The conflicting data will give the Fed cover to hold policy steady at its upcoming meeting — a pause that's been well telegraphed — but a resumption of rate hikes in July is a strong possibility if job growth doesn't slow significantly in June.”

By employment category, the biggest gains were in professional and business services (64,000 jobs), government (5

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