US stocks hit record as 217,000 new jobs send employment above pre-crisis peak

Peter Spence
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US MARKETS opened at record highs yesterday as the country’s labour market added a seasonally adjusted 217,000 jobs in May – taking the total number jobs above its prerecession peak.

According to the Bureau for Labour Statistics US employment now stands 98,000 above its January 2008 peak, setting a new all-time high, although the numbers are not population adjusted.

Last month’s additions have been revised down slightly, from 288,000 to 282,000. For now, the pace of monthly job creation seems to be solidly above the 200,000 mark.

Paul Ashworth, chief US economist at Capital Economics, said that monthly gains at that level “will certainly allow the Fed to stick to its QE tapering plans this year”. The headline unemployment rate is unchanged, stuck at 6.3 per cent having fallen sharply earlier this year.

Ashworth said the reduction in unemployment should trigger a significant pick-up in US wage growth soon.