Dan Gilmore / June 5, 2015

U.S. Economy Prepares for Leisurely Summer Months

It’s summer, and college students are putting down their laptops and picking up temporary jobs. And a few days ago, the Commerce Department revised their estimate for the nation’s GDP; from January to March, the nation’s GDP output shrank by 0.7%. These events mean the May jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is a mixed bag. The headlining numbers look good. In May, the U.S. added 280,000 jobs and the unemployment rate has stayed essentially unchanged since January at 5.5%. The U6 unemployment rate, which also measures the people struggling through long-term unemployment and people stuck in part-time jobs, held at 10.8%. Wages rose, however, as hourly earnings rose eight cents so the average American worker is earning $24.96 an hour. With the numbers comes the greater chance that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in September, reports CNBC. But much of the notable job gain comes just ahead of the summer months, a possible sign that Americans have more discretionary spending, notes Market Watch. Leisure and hospitality fields added 57,000 jobs last month, and another 29,000 jobs were added to the field of arts, entertainment and recreation. This raises questions about the kind of industry on which the nation is building the economy.

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