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217,000 new jobs created in May

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The U.S. added 217,000 jobs in May, right in line with the 215,000 new jobs predicted by a Bloomberg survey of economists. The unemployment rate remains a modest 6.3 percent, which is still about a full percentage point above what economists tend to define as full employment.

The private sector created 216,000 jobs, while the government sector created just 1,000.

Still, the exciting part of the news is that the United States is now very nearly at its pre-recession employment level. The economy needs to add just 113,000 more jobs to reach January 2008's employment total of 138,365,000. While GDP passed its pre-recession peak long ago, the economy has lagged in generating the jobs needed for widespread economic prosperity.

In passing that jobs milestone, we would finally be able to say that the economy is well on its way to a robust recovery.