U.S. hiring rebounds, sending unemployment to an 18-year low

Businesses hired robustly in May, reversing the slowing trend of the preceding two months, the Labor Department reported Friday. Here’s what you need to know.

Some 223,000 jobs were added. This beats economists’ expectations of about 190,000 jobs added. It represents a reversal of the previous few months, which saw disappointing growth (155,000 jobs added in March and 159,000 in April, after revisions.)

The president hinted ahead of the release the numbers would be positive. President Donald Trump tweeted at 7:21 a.m. ET that he was “looking forward to seeing the employment numbers at 8:30 this morning.” It is highly unusual for a president, who is briefed on the report ahead of time, to telegraph whether the report will be positive before its release. 

Wages grew somewhat faster, increasing 2.7 percent year-over-year. That beats the middling wage growth of about 2.5 percent seen so far in this economic cycle.

Black unemployment dropped to 5.9 percent, the lowest figure on record. That figure is usually double the unemployment rate for whites; it was 6.6 percent last month, also a record at the time.

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