It’s taken more than six years, but US payrolls have now exceeded their pre-GFC peak. May’s report showed an additional 217,000 jobs were created – further evidence of a solid recovery in the labour market. Following on from April’s significant decline, the unemployment rate held firm at 6.3%, as did the participation rate at 62.8%.
In a strange turn of events, the Institute for Supply Management had to issue two corrections to its key manufacturing activity index for May. The original release of 53.2 had suggested a weakening in the pace of manufacturing activity, but it was later discovered to have been the result of a software glitch. The final correction came in at 55.4 – much more in line with the Markit PMI reading of 56.4, which showed an acceleration in output.