US employers boost hiring in May

STORY: A surprisingly strong signal came from the U.S. job market on Friday.

The Labor Department said the economy added 339 thousand jobs in May, nearly 80 percent higher than estimates by economists polled by Reuters. And data from April was revised higher.

The unemployment rate did however rise slightly from a 54-year low, with the unemployment rate for Black workers rising significantly.

And wages rose at a slower pace than the previous month, a clue that inflation may be ebbing.

Market strategists told Reuters that trend convinces them the Federal Reserve will not raise interest rates again at its meeting later this month.

Financial markets see a more than 70 percent chance policy makers will keep rates where they are according to the CME Group’s FedWatch Tool on Friday morning.

But even if they don't raise rates in June, the odds of an additional hike at the July meeting are now around 60 percent.

The Fed has risen interest rates by 5 percentage points since March of last year.

The jobs report indicated the labor market remained solid and offered more evidence that the economy was far away from a dreaded recession, despite weakness in the interest-rate sensitive manufacturing sector and the housing market.

Most economists expect overall job growth to continue at least through the end of the year.

The major U.S. stock market indexes were higher in morning trading.