Analysts said that the figures for May showed how important government spending has been in supporting the domestic economy.
“Without the government, the total number of payrolls would have barely increased by enough to cover population growth,” said Guy LeBas, the chief fixed-income strategist for Janney Montgomery Scott, in a research note.
The new job figures suggest that there are still headwinds to face, some of them from abroad, as the economic recovery progresses.
One area of potential growth is in the manufacturing sector. Manufacturers are slowly making gains in their businesses and that could lead to an uptick in future hiring.
The Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI, a trade association, said this week that the sector was rebounding, based on low consumer inventories and strong gains in exports. Manufacturers are “bullish on job growth in a sector that is not known for job creation,” said Daniel J. Meckstroth, the group’s chief economist. “The supply-chain pipeline is filling with orders and manufacturing firms are reluctantly, but out of necessity, adding staff,” he said.
Investors have been watching the job figures for signs of health in the economic recovery. Corporate earnings for the first quarter have been generally stronger than expected, which raises hopes for more jobs.