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Here's the ‘bad news' in the ‘good' jobs report

·1 min

At a time when Americans and the Federal Reserve are seeking clear-cut data regarding the economy, Friday’s jobs report provided less clarity than expected. The May jobs report, while showing strong job growth, also revealed an increase in unemployment and a rise in wage gains. The unemployment rate rose to 4% from 3.9%, marking the first time in over two years that the rate has surpassed 4%. The household survey, one of two surveys used in the report, showed a decline in employment and labor force participation. Despite the slight increase in unemployment, the 4% rate carries psychological significance. Wage gains in the service sector contributed to an overall rise in average hourly earnings by 4.1% over the past year. This has implications for inflation, particularly in sectors where prices have been increasing. While fewer job cuts were announced in May compared to previous months, hiring announcements also declined. The current labor market shows signs of stalling, with slower economic expansion reflected in the latest GDP report. Consumer spending and corporate profits have seen downward revisions, indicating challenges for businesses passing on costs to consumers. Despite these findings, weekly jobless claims remain low.