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Jobs report: Nonfarm payrolls surpass pre-recession level

The economy added 217,000 jobs in May and the unemployment rate stayed the same as the previous month at 6.3 percent. The payroll number exceeded consensus expectations of about 213,000 jobs, but more significantly, this is a landmark month because the number of nonfarm jobs has now surpassed its pre-recession level.

Paul Solman’s “U7” measurement of unemployment, which adds to the officially unemployed everyone who says they want a job and can’t find one and those who are employed part-time for economic reasons, increased in May to 14.46 percent. That metric captures at least one trouble spot in Friday’s jobs report: the number of people who reported wanting a job but who haven’t looked recently shot up by nearly 300,000.

Paul will have much more analysis on his Making Sen$e page later this morning and on the PBS NewsHour Friday evening.

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