Unemployment and Payrolls Bring a Pleasant Surprise

Jon C. Ogg

The U.S. Labor Department issued its Employment Situation Report for the month of May on Friday morning. Frankly, it is making the ADP report look a bit silly. Still, the official estimates were close.

The unemployment rate held steady at 6.3%. Bloomberg was calling for a rise of 0.1% to 6.4%.

Nonfarm payrolls rose by 217,000 in May. Bloomberg was calling for 213,000. Private sector payrolls rose by 216,000, right in line with the 216,000 expected.

Even the prior revisions were too small to make note of.

Other key issues included for May were that the average hourly earnings rose by 0.2% and the average work week was static at 34.5 hours.

It turns out that the big gains in the TrimTabs report were much closer to reality than the ADP drop. One issue is that ADP does not track most large businesses, which have their own HR departments.

S&P futures are indicated up four points and the DJIA futures are indicated up 45 points. Keep in mind that these gains are on top of new all-time highs this week.

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