In a further sign that the U.S. economy has shaken off the winter doldrums, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported June 5 that a net 280,000 new jobs were created in May, with the unemployment rate essentially unchanged at a very low 5.5%.

BLS also said that job gains have averaged 251,000 a month over the past year, producing a total of 3 million new jobs since May 2014.  

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Jobs News: Hiring Pace Quickens

Mon Jun 8, 2015

In a further sign that the U.S. economy has shaken off the winter doldrums, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported June 5 that a net 280,000 new jobs were created in May, with the unemployment rate essentially unchanged at a very low 5.5%.

BLS also said that job gains have averaged 251,000 a month over the past year, producing a total of 3 million new jobs since May 2014.

May hiring gains were pretty much across the board, with professional and business services, leisure and hospitality and health care leading the way.

Wage growth appeared to follow suit, with average hourly earnings up a respectable 2.3% over the past year.

Perhaps the biggest question about the robust jobs report is what does it mean for Federal Reserve interest rate policy? With short term rates at or near zero for years amid successive rounds of “Quantitative Easing,” markets have long expected the Fed to begin boosting rates once the economy neared full employment.

The latest jobs numbers and trends suggest that the winter economic weakness was a temporary blip. With solid jobs gains and a pick-up in wages the Fed can be expected to take its foot off the monetary accelerator this fall, setting the stage for an uptick in interest rates.

From a political standpoint the latest jobs news has another implication: notwithstanding all the hyper-partisan rhetoric in Washington DC, with Republicans and Democrats finding little to agree on, the economy has managed to recover from the 2008-2009 recession and create over 3 million new jobs in 12 months and almost 8 million over the past three years. It’s testimony not only to the resiliency of the world’s biggest economy but to the knowledge and skills of the U.S. workforce.