Job gains beat forecasts even amid U.S. budget cuts: economy

MAY SAW HIRING at a faster pace than expected across the United States, including in the construction sector. Pictured is the soon-to-open Brookfield Place complex in Battery Park City in New York City, developed by Brookfield Office Properties Inc., the biggest U.S. office landlord, with about 64 million square feet of space either wholly or partly owned.
Posted 6/7/13

WASHINGTON - American employers took on more workers than forecast in May as the world’s largest economy weathered the impact of higher taxes and federal spending cuts.

Payrolls rose 175,000 after a revised 149,000 increase in April that was smaller than first estimated, U.S. Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey called for a gain of 163,000. The unemployment rate climbed to 7.6 percent from 7.5 percent as a surge in the number of people entering the labor force swamped the number of positions available.

Broad-based gains at private employers, ranging from retailers and builders to health care providers and hotels, indicate companies are optimistic about the outlook for demand, even as government payrolls shrink. Stocks advanced on optimism economic growth will pick up later this year after a second-quarter slowdown.

“The economy has really held up much better than expected, considering the strong fiscal headwinds that we’re experiencing right now,” said Russell Price, senior economist at Ameriprise Financial Inc. in Detroit, who correctly projected the rise in the unemployment rate. “The underlying fundamentals of the economy are very supportive, and once these headwinds recede somewhat, the economy can gain momentum.”

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index climbed 1 percent to 1,638.18 at 1:34 p.m. in New York. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.16 percent from 2.08 percent late yesterday.

Craft brewer

Among companies hiring workers is Santa Fe Brewing Co., a 30-employee craft beer maker in Santa Fe, N.M. The company has hired five full-time workers and one part-time employee this year to help support growing sales in the Southwest. It’s looking to hire three or four part-time employees now, and may add more full-time positions next year, said owner Brian Lock.

“I get the sense the economy is coming back a little bit,” said Lock, 41. “We are definitely on the recovery track. We are seeing more tourists than we have in the past three of four years, and that is a good sign.”

While Americans are finding work, wage gains aren’t picking up. Average hourly earnings were little changed at $23.89 in May after $23.88 in the prior month. They were up 2 percent in 12 months ended in May, the same as in April.

Household survey

The household survey, used to calculate the unemployment rate, showed a 420,000 increase in the size of the labor force, exceeding the 319,000 gain in employment and pushing up the jobless rate from a four-year low.

Next Page
PBN Hosted

Join PBN for the best networking event and party of the winter - January 15, 2015 - the Book of Lists Party at the Providence Public Library. Reserve your spot by December 31st and get a holiday gift from PBN!
  • Best Places to Work
    Enrollment is now open for the 7th annual Best Places to Work program. Winners w ...
  • Manufacturing Awards
    Applications are now being accepted for the 2nd Annual Manufacturing Awards. Dea ...
Purchase Data
Book of Lists
Book of Lists cover
PBN's annual Book of Lists has been an essential resource for the local business community for almost 30 years. The Book of Lists features a wealth of company rankings from a variety of fields and industries, including banking, health care, real estate, law, hospitality, education, not-for-profits, technology and many more.
Data icons
Data can be purchased as single lists, in either Excel or PDF format; the entire database of the published book, in Excel format; or a printed copy of the Book of Lists.
  • Purchase an e-File of a single list
  • Purchase an e-File of the entire Book of Lists database
  • Purchase a printed copy of the Book of Lists
    Latest News