Job Gains Stronger In May

Private Employers In U.S. Created 133,000 Jobs

May Job ReportA new labor report set to be released tomorrow will show job growth in the U.S. improved slightly in May after the weakest gain in half a year last month, analysts are predicting.

Payroll firm ADP said today that private employers in the U.S. created 133,000 jobs in May, up from April, but below earlier forecasts. Responding to a recent survey from Bloomberg News, 68 economists had forecasted that payrolls this month would swell with 150,000 workers, after a gain of only 115,000 in April. Still, while house purchases rose, manufacturing dipped, and concerns about economic slowdowns in Europe and parts of Asia could further hurt exports, potentially clouding the longer-term job growth picture.

"We have a labor market that's improving, but not the kind of job growth that would really propel the recovery to a stronger phase," Julia Coronado, chief economist for North America at BNP Paribas in New York, told Bloomberg. Nonetheless, she added: "Barring a bad scenario in Europe, we would expect some stronger numbers in the second half of the year." Economists said that private industry payrolls – which don't account for government jobs – likely were bolstered by 160,000 in May. The showing follows an April in which 130,000 private jobs were added, the weakest gain since August.

According to a separate survey, the unemployment rate likely remained steady at 8.1% in May. The jobless rate has remained above 8% since 2009, the longest stretch since monthly records began in 1948.