Employers in the U.S. kept up their solid pace of new jobs during May. Employment returned to its level of pre-recession which offered confirmation that the economy has returned from its slight slump during winter.
Payrolls that were nonfarm were up 217,000 during May, the Department of Labor announced on Friday. That figure was in line with Wall Street expectations. Data from the months of March and April was revised showing that 6,000 less jobs were created that what was originally reported.
May was the fourth consecutive month of gains in jobs above 200,000, even though there were less gains than April’s 282,000 when hiring was making a rebound from its lull of winter.
One economist said the trajectory of the recovery remains slower than everyone did prior and that will not change. He also said it would not bring many of the workers who have stopped searching for work anytime soon.
Stock prices in the U.S. opened modestly up, while yields on Treasury debt remained unchanged. The dollar was steady against the euro and yen.
The hiring pace adds to other data that ranges from services, to auto sales and activity in the factory sector that suggests the growth in the economy for the second quarter will pass the 3% annual pace.
During the first three months of 2014, the economy shrank by 1% dragged downward by the harsh winter and a slower than usual building of inventory by businesses.
The rate of unemployment remained steady at 6.3% its low of 5 ½ years during May.
The underemployment rate, which includes those people what want to work but have given up their search and those who are part-time employees because they have not found full time employment dropped to 12.2%, which is the lowest rate since October of 2008.
Economists believe more workers who were previously discouraged to re-enter the U.S. labor force during the course of this year. While it would be a sign of more confidence in the current labor market, it could also slow the decline in the unemployment rate.