Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released this morning showed 943,000 nonfarm payroll gains last month, with the unemployment rate falling to 5.4%. The payroll increase was the best since August 2020.
Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been looking for 845,000 new jobs and an unemployment rate of 5.7%. However, estimates were diverse amid conflicting headwinds and tailwinds and an uncertain path ahead for the economy.
Average hourly earnings also increased more than expected, increasing by 0.4% for the month (and up from 4% the same period last year).
The data reveals that the economy continues to inch closer to pre-pandemic shape and may soon be ready to run with reduced support from the Federal Reserve.
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