Economy Watchers Glowing After Plentiful May Job Creation

June 4, 2004 ( - Domestic employment market watchers got lots to smile about Friday when the government announced that the job creation machine was in high gear in May with 248,000 new non-farm positions.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) said May’s healthy total followed an upwardly revised total of 346,000 jobs added in April and 353,000 in March. By tacking on a whopping 947,000 new jobs in the March to May period, those three months became the strongest job-creation quarter in four years.

The government also said the unemployment rate remained at 5.6% in May, unchanged from April.

Virtually every major sector of the economy added jobs in May, from retailing to construction industries. Particularly notable were 32,000 new hires in the important manufacturing sector – a fourth straight monthly increase and the biggest for any month since August 1998 when 143,000 manufacturing jobs were created, the department said.