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Employment Setting the Tone

By Matthew Kerkhoff

 

The monthly jobs report is one of the most prominent, tone-setting reports issued each month. Today’s release hints at a stronger economy than recent data has indicated, and this is reverberating across markets.

 

According to the Labor Department, the US economy added a seasonally adjusted 280,000 jobs in May. Prior month’s figures were revised upward by 32,000, and the unemployment rate ticked up from 5.4% to 5.5% as a result of a growing labor force. Wages, a key input to the Fed’s rate-hike decision because it is viewed as a precursor to inflation, rose 0.3% on the month, up 2.3% from a year ago.

 

Those wishing to find fault in the report will always be able to do so, but the takeaway is that companies are hiring, and that is indicative of a growing economy.

 

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