United States Unemployment

United States

Payrolls rise in May

In May, non-farm payrolls grew by 175,000, which came in above the revised 149,000 rise observed in April (previously reported: 165,000). Moreover, the reading overshot market expectations, which had anticipated payrolls would rise by 167,000.

The private sector continued to be entirely responsible for new hiring by adding 178,000 jobs. Professional and business services, as well as leisure and hospitality were the sectors recording the largest gains. On the other hand, the public sector cut 3,000 jobs, maintaining the negative trend seen throughout most of the past three years.

The monthly figure marks the 32nd consecutive monthly gain in non-farm payrolls and the U.S. economy has now recovered 6.3 million jobs since February 2010, which marked the trough of the crisis in the labour market. That said, despite the improvement seen in the past two years, the economy remains short of 2.4 million jobs compared to the peak reached in January 2008.

Despite the rise in payrolls, the unemployment rate - which is derived from a different survey - inched up to 7.6% in May from 7.5% in April. The reading came in above market expectations that had the rate stable at 7.5%.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists anticipate unemployment to average 7.7% this year, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month's forecast. For 2014, the panel expects the unemployment rate to drop to 7.2%.


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United States Unemployment Chart

USA Unemployment May 2013

Note: Month-on-month variation of non-farm payrolls in thousands and unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted in %.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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