WASHINGTON (6/9/14)--The economy added 217,000 workers in May, a pull-back from April's strong gain of 282,000 jobs, but still another marker of a growing labor market during a year averaging 200,000 new jobs every month, according to numbers released by the Labor Department last week.
Despite the steady climb, however, the unemployment rate did not flinch and stands at 6.3%.
The Labor Department also reported last week a jump of about 8,000 unemployment insurance claims, but despite the increase claims remain low overall (
"Pretty much right on the head with all forecasts," said Christopher Vecchio,
currency analyst (
June 6). "A solid report all around. Not overtly positive, but still positive."
The latest rise in employment pushes the economy back over its pre-recession peak from January 2008, though questions still remain about the quality of jobs being added.
The gains were driven by three industries, business/professional services, education/healthcare and leisure/hospitality, and "while the first two create many quality jobs, leisure/hospitality jobs are among the lowest paying," said Moody's analysts.
Further, while the economy may have added enough jobs to meet its pre-recession peak, in order to accommodate the number of workers who have joined the market since then, it would require almost a doubling of the recent numbers.
Meanwhile, average hourly pay for workers inched up by 0.15%, or a 2.39% improvement year-over-year, and the average number of hours per work week remained at 33.7 for hourly workers, and 34.5 for all workers.