WASHINGTON (6/8/15)--Hiring widely accelerated in May with the economy adding 280,000 jobs during the month, up from 221,000 in April and 119,000 in March (Economy.com June 5).
Private payrolls jumped by 262,000, while government payrolls added 18,000 jobs.
The bulk of the increase was seen in service industries, including leisure/hospitality, which added 74,000 jobs, professional services, adding 63,000, and healthcare, contributing 58,000.
“While the drag on employment from the energy industry persists, low oil and import prices are benefiting the broader economy, and manufacturing--which has been buffeted by the high dollar--is rebounding thanks to solid domestic demand,” said Sophia Koropeckyj, Moody’s analyst (Economy.com).
The unemployment rate, meanwhile, slightly increased in May to 5.5% from 5.4%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported, while the participation rate climbed to 62.9% from 62.8%.
With nearly 400,000 new workers joining the workforce, the number of discouraged workers declined as well, according to Moody’s.
Average hourly earnings climbed 2.3% on an annual basis in May, up from 2.2% in April, and the average weekly hours worked stood pat at 34.5.
“Although the unemployment rate increased in May, it increased for the right reasons as more workers, particularly new entrants, stepped into the labor force,” Koropeckyj said, adding, “Participation rose for workers [age] 16 to 24 as well as workers [age] 35 to 44. Meanwhile, the number and share of workers unemployed more than half a year continued to decline.”