At first glance, the numbers coming out of the May jobs report released this morning look as good as National Donut Day feels — job gains lived up to economists’ expectations; the unemployment rate remained unchanged; we finally recouped the jobs lost during the recession; and this was the first four-month stretch with 200,000-plus job gains since the 1990s. But there’s always more to the story, so (grab some free donuts and) read on to find out.
As you may know, following each month’s jobs report, we read dozens of news reports, scour the Web, and break what we find down to three key talking points you can use. Whether you’re taking a break at the office water cooler or conversing with peers in the industry, you’ll have three conversation starters in your pocket.
HERE’S THE NEWS YOU CAN USE FROM TODAY’S RELEASE:
Slow flat and steady wins the race? The U.S. economy added 217,000 jobs in May. For the most part, we remained relatively flat across the board: The unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.3 percent; the labor force participation rate in May also remained unchanged at 62.8 percent. TWEET THIS
Even the number of long-term unemployed — individuals who have been jobless for 27-plus weeks — stayed steady at 3.4 million.
Unemployment rate holds steady, but for “good” reasons: More employed, larger labor force, more people rejoined LF to look for work.
— Ben Casselman (@bencasselman) June 6, 2014
2. Employment is back to pre-recession level, but hold the high-fives.
U.S. employers have (finally!) recouped the 8.7 million jobs lost during the recession. TWEET THIS According to CNN Money: “There are now more jobs in the country than ever before. The last time we were near this point was January 2008.” But, as with every economy-related update, you should always take these numbers with a grain of salt and understand that the economy is still quite a ways from being considered truly healthy.
3. Winners and losers of May’s jobs report. Health care emerged a winner this morning with gains of 34,000 jobs in May, which is twice the average gain per month that we’ve seen over the past year. April, on the other hand, emerged the loser with that month’s jobs numbers being revised down by 6,000 — from 288,000 to 282,000. Still, job growth over the past 12 months has averaged 197,000 jobs.
In case you’re looking for handy, easily digestible charts from the just-released jobs report, Quartz has some with highlights.
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