The US economy pumped out 280,000 jobs in May, the Labor Department announced Friday, far more than expected in a solid sign of growth after a winter stall.
Businesses in health care, retail sales and tourism hired new workers generously during the month, and firm gains also came in construction and government.
Wages also rose a solid 2.3 percent from a year ago, in a long-awaited sign that the jobs market could be tightening.
Other numbers also suggested a stronger market: figures for short-term unemployed and labor market dropouts also fell significantly.
But the unemployment rate, which is based on a separate set of data from the job creation numbers, ticked up slightly to 5.5 percent.