Today’s jobs report broke a string of better-than-expected economic news. Unemployment spiked to 5.5% (vs. 5.1% consensus), the highest sequential jump in 22 years.
Nonfarm payrolls, which are calculated by a survey of establishments, declined 49,000 in May, the labour Department said. The decline was broad based, including manufacturing, construction, retail trade and business services. Payrolls fell 28,000 in April and 88,000 in March. Both were revised to show slightly larger drops.
The unemployment rate, which is calculated using a separate survey of households, jumped 0.5 percentage point to 5.5%, its highest level since October 2004. According to the household survey, employment fell by 285,000 while unemployment rose by 861,000.
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