U.S. employment is higher than it’s been since the Great Recession began, Friday’s job report showed. Employers added 217,000 jobs last month, slightly more than the 215,000 expected in a Bloomberg News survey.
The jobless rate was unchanged at 6.3 percent, the Labor Department report said. Still, that’s at an almost six-year low. However, some job-watchers expressed concerns about the slow pace of real wage growth.
Here are highlights from comments by analysts and money managers:
- “The entire employment market has gained back all the jobs we’ve lost since the recession,” Cameron Hinds, regional chief investment officer for Wells Fargo Private Bank in Lincoln, Nebraska, told Bloomberg News. “The positive part is we’ve reached that milestone. The negative part is it took so long for us to get there.”
- May was the fourth month in a row that more than 200,000 jobs were added. The last time that happened was reported to be about 15 years ago “For a number that has a high degree of variability, this is notable for its stability. And markets always like to see a true trend, and this would appear to be a well-entrenched trend,” Ron Sanchez, executive vice president and chief investment officer at Fiduciary Trust, told Forbes.
- “We’re seeing the continuation of solid payrolls gains, which is an accomplishment for the economy and will boost consumer and business fundamentals,” Laura Rosner, U.S. economist at BNP Paribas in New York, told Bloomberg News, and that “We’re slowly moving in the direction of stronger earnings growth, which is really what we need to see for the recovery to continue.”
- The report “suggests the first quarter was an anomaly in terms of what the economy was and we are back to a decent pace of job creation. Overall it’s a pretty solid report,” John Canally, an economist at LPL Financial in Boston, told Reuters.
- “Wage growth has been lagging,” Omar Aguilar, CIO of equities at Charles Schwab told Forbes. “We haven’t seen an improvement percentage-wise of more than 1 percent over past five years. That’s probably okay because it represents no inflation, but it’s a piece of what may be the potential income for spending.”
- Todd Schoenberger, managing partner at LandColt Capital LP in New York, told Fox News that the report “supports the theory” that the economy is strengthening following an usually cold winter. Still, he said, “The wild card is wage growth, though. It’s nonexistent, and it will bring the minimum wage argument back to the front pages,” he added.
- The payrolls expansion “wasn’t concentrated in one specific industry, and it wasn’t heavily biased up by labor force participation — the innards of number don’t change fact that it was a pretty decent number,” Liz Ann Sonders of Schwab told Business Insider.
The Money and Markets Team