WRAPUP 2-U.S. nonfarm payrolls hit 10-year high on Census

* Nonfarm payrolls grow 431,000, fastest since March 2000

* Private hiring rises 41,000, census jobs 411,000

* Unemployment rate dips to 9.7 pct from 9.9 pct in April

* Average workweek 34.2 hours from 34.1 hours

(Releads with data)

By Lucia Mutikani

WASHINGTON, June 4 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. nonfarm payrolls grew
at their fastest pace in 10 years in May, buoyed by recruitment
for the decennial census, but private hiring slowed sharply as
businesses opted to increase hours rather than hire new
workers.

The Labor Department said on Friday payrolls rose 431,000
as the government hired 411,000 workers to conduct the
population count. That was the largest monthly increase since
March 2000 and marked a fifth straight month of gains.

Private employment, a barometer of labor market strength,
increased just 41,000 after rising 218,000 in April. Employers
did increase hours, however, and the average workweek increased
to 34.2 hours from 34.1 hours in April.

Payrolls data for March and April was revised to show
22,000 fewer jobs created than previously reported. May’s hefty
employment gain lowered the unemployment rate to 9.7 percent
from 9.9 percent in April.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected non-farm payrolls
to rise 513,000 and private businesses to create 190,000 jobs.
The jobless rate had been seen dipping to 9.8 percent.

The economy has now grown for three straight quarters and
the recovery from the worst recession since the Great
Depression of the 1930s is broadening out.

The jobless rate is a drag on President Barack Obama’s
popularity and could cost the Democratic Party dearly in
November’s congressional elections, with voters in an
anti-incumbent and anti-Washington mood.

Unemployment will probably remain high through the year
as the millions of people who lost their jobs during the
recession seek work.

The firming jobs market may encourage those who dropped out
of the labor force to resume their search, which could keep the
jobless rate elevated because workers are counted as unemployed
only if they are actively looking for work.

Outside the census, hiring slowed significantly from the
prior months. The dominant services sector, saw payrolls
increase 37,000 after surging 156,000 in April. The goods
producing sector created only 4,000 new jobs following 62,000
jobs in April. This was as construction employment fell 35,000
after gaining 14,000 in April.

Recruitment for the population count saw government
employment rising 390,000, overshadowing the drag from jobs
cuts in cash-strapped states and localities.

Job growth is critical to sustain a rebound in consumer
spending, especially now that recovery in Europe is under
threat from government spending cuts to bring down huge budget
deficits.

The debt crisis, stemming from Greece’s fiscal problems,
has hammered global stock markets, but analysts so far see a
limited impact on the U.S. economy.

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(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

WRAPUP 2-U.S. nonfarm payrolls hit 10-year high on Census