Let’s wait for the downward revision before getting too excited, because the BLS’s birth/death model tends to invent a lot of imaginary jobs during Q2. But there is some unambiguously good news in today’s jobs report:
The U.S. economy created 280,000 jobs in May, better than expected and likely confirming hopes that growth is back on track after a slow start to the year.
The unemployment rate, however, increased slightly to 5.5 percent.
The good news? The unemployment rate going up is very good news. The headline number is iffy at best, given the BLS’s shady methodology and weak consumer spending. Obviously though there was at least some real job creation in May and the U-2 unemployment rate went up — that means more people are feeling confident enough to actually try looking for work, and have been added back into the BLS’s labor statistics. Obviously not all of those people found work, but they are back to at least trying to find work. That’s good news.
I can’t remember the last time both key numbers went up in the same month, but it’s one positive sign in a year which has otherwise been full of meh.