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U.S. ECONOMICS: Decent Payrolls Show Hours Work Rebounding From Ugly Winter

The Labor Department's Friday report of a 217,000 increase in May payrolls and a downward revision of just 6,000 for April amounted a post-winter payroll rebound that almost exactly tracked expectations, while a sturdy 0.2% rise in hours worked made the overall report slightly stronger than expected.

There has now been solid 1.2% three-month climb in hours worked from the winter abyss.

A restrained 145,000 rise in civilian jobs with a 192,000 labor-force bounce only partly mitigated respective April declines of 73,000 and 806,000, and the mix sustained the April decline in the labor-force participation rate to 62.8%, with a jobless rate at 6.30%, versus a cycle-low 6.27% in May.

Goods employment rose by a modest 18,000 in May, with gains of 10,000 for manufacturing, 2,000 for mining, and 6,000 for construction. There was a 0.3% rise in hours worked for the goods sector with a 0.6% rise for factories, though mining hours worked were flat, and construction hours worked fell 0.4%.

The workweek sustained the March and April bounce to 34.5 from a weather-depressed 34.3 in February, versus a 34.6 cycle high in March of 2013.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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