US jobs up 280,000 in May as leisure and hospitality pick up

Jobs in business services and healthcare added to the boost

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Employment in the US rose by 280,000, slightly higher than the average monthly gain of 251,000 over the last 12 months as hospitality and leisure added to the number jobs secured in May, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Jobs in business services and healthcare added to the boost, while mining employment continued to decline.

Employment in leisure and hospitality increased 57,000 in May after little change in the prior two months.

Meanwhile the unemployment rate edged upwards 0.1 per cent to 5.5 per cent in May, while the number of unemployed persons was largely stable at 8.7 million.

Both unemployment measures were largely unchanged, though the increase in jobs is encouraging after jobs growth slowed in early 2015.

Wages saw significant gains. The average hourly earnings for all employees increased 8 cents to $24.96, marking the continued upward trend of wages following average monthly rises of 2.3 per cent over the past year.

The number of people with jobs or looking for work was still historically low. The labour participation rate increased incrementally from 62.8 per cent to 62.9 per cent in May, stagnant at some of the lowest levels seen since the late 1970s.