American employers added 175,000 jobs in May, almost exactly the average monthly job growth over the last year, the Labor Department reported Friday, while the unemployment rate ticked up to 7.6 percent from 7.5 percent in April.
Economists were relieved that the numbers weren’t worse, given a string of other disappointing data in recent weeks, but noted that recent job trends are nowhere close to bringing the country back to full employment. At the current pace of job and population growth, it would take nearly five years to get the economy back to the low unemployment rate it enjoyed when the recession officially began in December 2007….
Still, the cause behind the uptick in the unemployment rate, at least, was mildly encouraging: more people joined the labor force, perhaps indicating that Americans who have been sitting on the sidelines feel that they finally have a chance at finding a job….
The major stock market indexes — the Dow Jones industrial average and the broader Standard & Poor’s 500 — were up in midday trading by about 1 percent.
U.S. Added 175,000 Jobs in May; Jobless Rate Rises to 7.6% [NYT]
Good News! The Unemployment Rate Rose [WSJ Real Time Economics blog]