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US economy adds 272,000 jobs in May

WASHINGTON, June 7 (KUNA) -- The US economy added 272,000 jobs in May and the unemployment rate ticked slightly up to 4 percent, according to a new Labor Department report released Friday.
The May jobs report was far hotter than the expectations of economists, who projected a gain of 185,000 jobs and no movement from the April jobless rate of 3.9 percent.
The slight increase in the jobless rate, however, ends the longest streak of sub-4 percent unemployment since the 1960s.
The jobs report comes as the Federal Reserve prepares to vote on interest rates next week. The central bank has maintained rates at a range of 5.25 percent to 5.5 percent since July 2023, and hopes are low that it will start cutting rates this month.
President Joe Biden welcomed the new job figures which suppressed expectations. "The great American comeback continues, but we still have to make more progress. On my watch, 15.6 million more Americans have the dignity and respect that comes with a job," the President said in a statement.
"Unemployment has been at or below 4 percent for 30 months-the longest stretch in 50 years. And a record high share of working-age women have jobs." He promised to continue fighting to lower costs for families.
"I'm fighting corporate greed by calling on corporations with record profits to lower prices-as Target and Walmart have for grocery prices. I'm fighting to make rent more affordable by building 2 million new homes. I'm fighting to lower the cost of health care and prescription drugs, like insulin and inhalers," he said.
The President, however, lambasted congressional Republicans, who according to him, have a different vision-one that puts billionaires and special interests first.
"The Republican plan would increase inflation by repealing the Affordable Care Act, siding with Big Oil to raise utility bills, letting Big Banks rip off Americans, and blow up the debt by slashing taxes for billionaires. I will never stop fighting for Scranton-not Park Avenue," he argued. (end) asj.ibi