Headline RoundupJune 7th, 2024

US Added 272,000 Jobs in May, Beating Expectations

Summary from the AllSides News Team

The U.S. economy added a surprisingly high 272,000 jobs in May, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported Friday morning.

The Details: BLS also reported a 4.0% unemployment rate for May, slightly higher than April’s 3.9%, representing about 6.6 million unemployed people. The number of long-term unemployed — those jobless for 27 weeks or more — was 1.4 million. Meanwhile, average hourly earnings rose 0.4% in May to $34.91, outpacing April’s 0.3% monthly inflation.

For Context: Economists had expected a slowdown in job creation. Employment figures have been closely watched this year for their potential impact on the Federal Reserve’s expected future interest rate cuts, which have yet to materialize as inflation remains at an elevated 3.4%. Some have cited record immigration as a possible explanation for the current unusual mix of job growth, low unemployment, elevated inflation, and GDP growth.

How the Media Covered It: Expectations for this jobs report were much lower; on Thursday, Bloomberg (Lean Left bias) predicted a “steady slowdown” to 180,000 new jobs, citing a survey estimate. Thus, outlets across the spectrum called the report “astounding” and a “blockbuster” that “burst past expectations.” As with previous election year economic coverage, news outlets aligned against the current presidential administration sometimes painted a more negative picture of the economy; for instance, a Fox Business (Lean Right bias) headline highlighted unemployment “unexpectedly” rising. Meanwhile, CNN Business (Lean Left bias) took an almost celebratory tone on “the blowout May jobs report” while noting in a different article that the report was “opaque” about the overall state of the economy.

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