The economy picked up steam in May, adding 248,000 new jobs – the third straight monthly surge, the Labor Department said yesterday.
The department also upped its combined hiring records for March and April by 74,000, bringing the latest three-month total to nearly one million new jobs.
The unemployment rate held steady at 5.6%, as the growing economy brought more job-seekers into the market.
May marked the ninth straight month of employment gains. In that period, the economy has restored more than half the 2.6 million jobs lost over the previous 2 1/2 years. That’s good news for President Bush, who is counting on a rallying job market to boost his reelection chances in November.
“Today’s jobs report shows that the American economy is strong and it’s getting stronger, that it’s good for the American worker,” the President told reporters in Rome.