U.S. labor market growth in May exceeds expectations with 390 million new jobs

U.S. labor market growth in May exceeds expectations with 390 million new jobs

The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.6%.

According to the Nonfarm Payroll report released this morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 390,000 new jobs were created in May - a slight slowdown from April's 436,000, but exceeding economists' expectations of 325,000.

The unemployment rate remained at 3.6% for the third straight month, a tick above expectations for a drop to 3.5%. The April 2020 pandemic peak was 14.8%.

May's job gains suggest there has been no slowdown in the labor market - even if it did break a streak of 11 consecutive months with more than 400,000 jobs. As for wages, average hourly wages rose 0.3% in May, unchanged from April and up 5.2% year over year.

Another recent report from the Labor Department showed that employers had 11.4 million job openings in April, meaning there are nearly two jobs available for every job seeker.

Crypto prices, meanwhile, remain under pressure as data suggests the U.S. Federal Reserve will need to tighten monetary policy further, dampening appetite for risk assets. Bitcoin (BTC) has extended its daily losses slightly since the release of the report and is now trading at $29,550.

Still-strong May job growth suggests the labor market has yet to respond to recent rate hikes and the Fed's aggressive outlook, giving the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) the green light for at least 50 basis points more rate hikes at each of the next two or three meetings.

"We still have a lot of work to do to get inflation to our 2% target," Fed Vice Chair Lael Brainard told CNBC on Thursday. "Right now, it's very hard to see any reason for a pause."