Economy Adds 217,000 Jobs in May, Unemployment Stays At 6.3 Percent

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Bureau of Labor Statistics

The U.S. economy added 217,000 new jobs in May, and the unemployment rate remained at 6.3 percent, according to Friday morning's jobs report from the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Going into today's report, economists seemed to be more or less on target with their predictions, guessing that the report would show about 215,000 new jobs and an unemployment rate of 6.4 percent. In April, the U.S. economy added 282,000 jobs and the unemployment rate dropped down to 6.3 percent. 

Here are some other notable numbers from May's report: 

  • The number of long-term unemployed is steady at 3.4 million. 
  • The labor force participation rate — or the percentage of Americans who are either currently employed or actively looking for work — remained at 62.8 percent. That's low, remaining at the lowest it's been since March of 1978. 
  • The average hourly earnings for all employees rose by five cents, so it's now at $24.38. That's a 2.1 percent increase from a year ago. 
  • The U.S. has officially recovered all of the jobs lost since the 2008 recession. (In term of the total number of jobs, not accounting for unemployment numbers and population growth.

Most finance watchers on Twitter reacted to the report with a shrug. The news was generally positive, but not outstanding, with few surprises, and in line with all recent trends and data. In other words, the worst kind of report for people looking to get worked up about something.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.