A report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that US employers have added over 280,000 during the month of May, while also experiencing a long-expected increase in wages. On the other end of the spectrum, labor force participation also increased, amounting to a slight rise in unemployment.
The 280,000 new jobs are an unexpected but welcome sight for the American labor market, which showed signs of stagnation and even slight regress during the first months of 2015. The new statistics also came with a revision of the April and March ones, raising the actual number of new jobs created in that month by 32,000. The number of jobs created in May has been much higher than the 226.000 which Wall Street estimated it would be before the report was released.
Unemployment levels grew by 0.1 percent, from April’s 5.4 percent to 5.5 percent in May, but the explanation for this is actually of a positive nature; due to the rise in new jobs, more Americans either started seeking employment or left their current jobs to test the labor market. As some of them could not find employment immediately, they were counted as unemployed. This is reflected in the fact that the labor force participation rate (the percentage of US citizens who are either employed or actively seeking for a job) has also risen by 0.1 percent, being now at 62.9 percent.
Hourly worker wages have also grown by 0.3 percent since April, 0.1 more than estimated, which amounts to a 2.3 percent increase since this time last year. This had the average hourly worker wage increased by 3 cents, now standing at $24.87. This leads towards a stabilization tendency of the labor market, as employers once again see themselves needing to raise wages to attract better employees rather than settling for those who accept lower wages – as it commonly happens during recession.
The wage growth isn’t also attributed to a wage raise in well-paid jobs; it’s actually the result of major employers such as Wal-Mart, Target or McDonald’s who decided to increase wages for part of their workforce.
The job report’s immediate effect was a strengthening of the US dollar, seeing its index rising to 96.95 and gaining on the euro and Swiss franc, with the price of an ounce of Gold also falling by about $9 to $1,162.20.
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