The U.S. economy added 339,000 jobs in May, according to a Friday morning report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That’s ahead of an upwardly revised 294,000 jobs in April and sharply higher than economist forecasts for 195,000. April’s job gain was originally reported at 253,000.
The unemployment rate rose to 3.7% versus 3.4% in April and against estimates for 3.5%.
The price of bitcoin (BTC) remained at just above $27,000 in the minutes following the BLS release.
In its fight to tame stubbornly high inflation, the U.S. Federal Reserve has embarked on an historic string of rate hikes since early 2022. Sharply higher rates, however, have barely dented the strong employment market, giving the central bank at least one reason to continue tightening monetary policy.
The Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meets next on June 13-14, and markets are divided on whether the central bank will again boost rates – a sharp change from just one month ago, when investors were nearly certain the Fed would pause in its rate hike cycle. That switch in attitude over the past few weeks has taken its toll on bitcoin, which tumbled from nearly $30,000 to the $27,000 level it was at just prior to this morning’s data.
Checking more report details shows average hourly earnings up 0.3% in May versus April’s 0.4% and expectations for 0.4%. On a year-over-year basis, average hourly earnings were ahead 4.3%, inline with expectations and down from 4.4% in April.