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Updated: U.S. Economy Creates 217,000 Jobs In May

By Kitco News
Friday June 6, 2014 8:30 AM

Editor's Note: The article was updated to include more information from the report and comments from TD Securities.

(Kitco News) - The U.S. labor market continued to build momentum as 217,00 jobs, in line with expectations, were created in May, according to the latest data from the U.S. Labor Department.

Forecasters were optimistic ahead of the data; according to consensus estimates, economists were expecting to see between 214,000 and 220,000 jobs created last month. Along with the headline figures, market participants said they are also paying close attention to revisions. April’s numbers were revised to 282,00 down from the previous reading of 288,000 jobs.

March's employment figures remained unchanged at 203,000 new jobs, which was reported in the April data.

"Employment increased in professional and business services, health care and social assistance, food services and drinking places, and transportation and warehousing," the report said. "Employment in other major industries, including mining and logging, construction, wholesale trade, retail trade, information, financial activities, and government, showed little change over the month."

Millan Mulraine, deputy head of U.S. research and strategy at TD Securities, said that May’s employment report continues to build on the momentum created in April and is a historical peak for the U.S. economy.

“The economy has essentially recovered all the jobs lost during the downturn,” he said. “Overall, this was a very strong report with no obvious warts to detract from the underlying message of sustained improvement in economic activity - which is broadly consistent with the tone of other economic reports in recent weeks. U.S. economic recovery is definitively back on track after the Q1 setback and it is consistent with growth in the 3.5% to 4.0% range.”

The Labor Department said the unemployment rate was 6.3%, ucnhanged from April’s reading of 6.3%. The consensus estimates were calling for the unemployment rate to rise to 6.4%. April’s surprise drop in the unemployment rate was the result of a sharp decline in the participation rate, which created some uncertainty in the market as it showed that people were leaving the labor market.

According to the data, the participation rate remained unchanged at 62.8%. Hugo Murphy, trader at Kitco Metals pointed out that the although the participation rate held steady it is still at a 36-year low.

Economists are also paying attention to average hourly earnings, which were $24.38 last month, an increase of five cents. The report said that hourly wages have increased 2.1 % in the last 12 months. The average hours worked remained unchanged at 34.5 hours in May..

By Neils Christensen of Kitco News; nchristensen@kitco.com



Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in precious metal products, commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.
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