Copy of 2023-06-02T042207Z_944562555_RC2RA1AEQCVB_RTRMADP_3_AUSTRALIA-WAGES-1685710013681
The jobless rate ticked up to 3.7 per cent, said the Labor Department. Image Credit: REUTERS

Washington: Hiring in the United States heated up again in May, according to government data released Friday, signaling a persistently strong labor market despite efforts to cool the economy.

The jobs market has been surprisingly robust even as regulators have worked to ease demand and rein in inflation, with the central bank lifting interest rates 10 times since early last year.

The latest numbers could prove challenging for policymakers as they watch for signs that the world's biggest economy is cooling enough to allow for a pause in their aggressive campaign of rate hikes.

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The United States added 339,000 jobs last month, surpassing estimates and picking up from a revised 294,000 figure in April, said the Labor Department.

The jobless rate ticked up to 3.7 per cent, rising from a historically low level of 3.4 per cent.

But in a more welcome sign, wage gains moderated slightly with average hourly earnings rising 0.3 per cent, slightly down from 0.4 per cent in April, the report said.

Compared with a year ago, average hourly earnings are up 4.3 per cent.