Good payroll numbers — not too hot, not too cold. They beat the consensus (215k), but were below some of the more outlandish guesses (300,000 or even 400,000) which might force the Fed to crank up rates a half point at a time, instead of their previously promised “incrementalism.”
Next week, I’ll have more on why some are being perplexed by the apparent economic rebound yet the poor polling numbers for the incumbent on economic matters; Its really not much of a quandry . . .
Here’s a quick excerpt from Bloomberg:
U.S. employers added 248,000 workers to payrolls in May, more than forecast, helped by the biggest gain in manufacturing employment in almost six years. The economy has now recouped all the jobs lost since the recession ended in November 2001. The unemployment rate held at 5.6 percent.
The increase follows revised gains of 346,000 jobs in April and 353,000 in March that were larger than estimated last month, the Labor Department said in Washington. Manufacturing employment rose the most since August 1998 and hours worked at factories were the highest since October 2000. Service and construction employment rose.
Rising wages will keep consumers spending and ensure the economy continues to expand for the rest of the year, economists said. Last month’s gain underscores expectations Federal Reserve policy makers will raise the benchmark interest rate target by a quarter percentage point when they meet June 29-30. At 1 percent, the overnight bank lending rate is the lowest in 46 years.
U.S. May Payrolls Rise 248,000; Jobless Rate at 5.6%
by Carlos Torres,
Bloomberg, June 4, 2004 09:02 EDT
Employers Add 248,000 New Jobs in May
AP, Fri Jun 4, 7:43 PM ET