The monthly jobs report prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.3%, and that 217,000 jobs were added to the economy. The labor participation rate was unchanged, the BLS reported, at 62.8%.
The economy has been adding a small number of jobs for a long time, contributing to the perception that we're still mired in a subpar economy. As BLS found,
Among the marginally attached, there were 697,000 discouraged workers in May, little different from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them.
April's odd report - in which the economy added 288,000 jobs despite seeing a lot of people drop out of the labor force - was revised downward by 6,000 jobs. All told, jobs added to the economy has been barely keeping up with population growth over the last few months.
Before the jobs report this month, Reuters reported that "the median forecast showing the U.S. economy added a solid 218,000 jobs last month, down from 288,000 in April." The BLS report added basically a median estimate to that forecast.
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