U.S. economy adds more than 270,000 jobs in May

Healthcare provider administering a shot to a child.
The healthcare field added nearly 70,000 jobs in May.

The Labor Department reported on Friday that the economy’s roughly 4% unemployment rate remained relatively unchanged even as employers hired more workers. Employers hired roughly 272,000 workers last month—about 40,000 more workers than the monthly average over the past year.

What fields added the majority of these jobs? The healthcare field alone added almost 70,000 of those jobs. Roughly 43,000 people found government jobs last month and a similar number found employment in the leisure and hospitality industry. The professional, scientific, and technical services sector added just over 30,000 jobs.

What about the unemployment rate? That remained the same? Unemployment rates both generally and demographically remained static. The unemployment rate for adult men stayed at nearly 4%, while the rate for adult women remained under 3.5%. Roughly 12% of teenagers remained unemployed. Along ethnic lines, about 3.5% of white people didn’t have a job while just over 6 percent of black people were unemployed. Just over 3% of Asian Americans and about 5% of Hispanic Americans were unemployed.

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What does this mean going forward? Employers’ increase in hiring suggests that the economy is still running strong. As such, the Federal Reserve may refrain from lowering interest rates from their current two-year perch of roughly 5.25 to 5.5%. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said after the Fed’s latest meeting on interest rates that the central bank won’t lower rates until it sees a pattern of economic slowdown.

This story originally appeared in WORLD. © 2024, reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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