Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 280,000 in May, up from last month’s revised estimate of 221,000. The unemployment rate rose slightly to 5.5 percent. The Federal Reserve has placed its full-employment estimate between 5 percent and 5.2 percent.
Employers announced plans to shed 41,034 workers from their payrolls in May, following the 61,582 planned job cuts announced in April, according to a report issued by Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
The U.S. international trade deficit narrowed in April to $40.9 billion, down $9.7 billion from March, attributable to both a $1.9 billion increase in exports and a $7.8 billion decrease in imports
Overall economic activity expanded during the reporting period from early April to late May according to the fourth Federal Reserve Beige Book of 2015. While the pace of growth varied among districts, outlook among respondents were generally optimistic, with growth expected to continue at a modest to moderate pace in several districts.
The Non-Manufacturing ISM Report on Business Index was 55.7 in May, 2.1 percentage points lower than the previous month. Index readings above 50 indicate expansion in the non-manufacturing economy. May was the 64th consecutive month of economic growth. Fifteen industries reported growth in May.
According to the ADP National Employment report, the private sector added 201,000 jobs in May, as both goods-producing and services sectors experienced increased job growth. The May report downwardly revised the April and March headline numbers by 4,000 and 13,000 jobs, respectively.
The U.S. economy will bounce back from a lackluster start to the year, with growth in the second half of 2015 forecasted to reach 2.8, the ABA Economic Advisory Committee said today. “This has been a wild period for the economy,” said EAC Chairman Ethan Harris, co-head of global economics research at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, referring to the seasonal “shock” of bad weather in addition to sharp drops in oil prices and the West Coast port strike.
Personal income increased $59.4 billion, or 0.4 percent, in April according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, compared to the less than 0.1 percent increase the previous month. Personal consumption expenditures decreased $2.6 billion, or less than 0.1 percent in April, following an increase of 0.5 percent in March.
Construction spending increased 2.2 percent in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of $1 trillion. March spending was revised up from $967.2 billion to $984.0 billion.