In a sign that the world's biggest economy is regaining vitality after the weakest growth in over four years, U.S. employers added 157,000 jobs in May, the Labor Department said June 1.
The unemployment rate held steady at 4.5%.
The report on nonfarm payrolls, seen as one of the best indicators of economic momentum, was well ahead of the Wall Street consensus forecast of 135,000 new jobs.
The service sector led gains in May with 176,000 new jobs, while the manufacturing sector had a net loss of 19,000 positions.
The average work week rose slightly to 33.9 hours in May from 33.8 in the prior month.
Total employment was nearly unchanged at 145.9 million, and the employment-population ratio held at 63%. The civilian labor force also was steady at 152.8 million, and the labor force participation rate remained at 66%.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007