In some good news for the economy, the May jobs report has been released from the Labor Department, which showed that 280,000 jobs had been added for May. This is up from the projected total of 220,000 jobs for the month. However, the unemployment rate did go up a little bit to 5.5 percent, although economists say this is due to more people now looking for work than before.
The good jobs report is indicating that the labor market is on the right track, especially given it is stronger than most economists had anticipated. In 2015, America has already added over one million jobs, which is a sign that a large part of the slowdown was attributed to the bad winter weather. The International Monetary Fund did though raise some concerns because worker pay has only went up 2.3 percent in May, with the Federal Reserve looking at a 3.5 percent wage growth forecast. Even though May wage growth was only 2.3 percent, this is the highest level in nearly two years, and wages are often the last sign that the economy is making significant progress.
March was the worth month for job growth this year, although the Labor Department did revise the total to 119,000 and then moved April’s job growth down to 221,000. It looks like more jobs all around were becoming available in May, even high-quality job areas are now hiring again, which is a good sign about the overall progress of the economy. Service-sector job growth has been outpacing gains from the same time last year, and healthcare has increased jobs by 47,000. Construction added 17,000 new jobs, while business serves gained 63,000 jobs. While a lot of companies are now hiring at larger paces than before, the energy sector is really lagging, because they are still cutting jobs left and right due to the low oil and gas prices. In May, mining and drilling dropped by 17,000 jobs, which is the fifth month of job loss for the energy sector.
The overall job market though is getting strong according to the latest job gains, and the Federal Reserve is set to meet on June 17. Fed Chair Janet Yellen will be speaking to the press and giving her outlook on the economy, and then a decision will be made about raising interest rates. It is not thought Yellen will raise the rates in June though, although if conditions stay the same or improve, it will likely be September when the first key interest rate goes up. Whether it happens in June or September, raising this key interest rate is also an important step in finally signaling that the economy is back on track. Economists are cautiously optimistic at this point, but with the latest jobs report, it looks like things will only get better from here.