Bloomberg by the Numbers: 36

A forklift operator in Sycamore, Illinois.

Photograph by Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

A forklift operator in Sycamore, Illinois.

Payrolls grew in 36 states in May.

Texas led the gainers, with a 56,400 increase in employment, as Victoria Stilwell reports on the latest state-by-state employment count from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Pennsylvania ranked second, with 24,700 added jobs.

Overall across the U.S, payrolls climbed by 217,000 in May, as the national unemployment rate held at an almost six-year low of 6.3 percent.

“Headcounts are climbing as business confidence and sales improve and the economy rebounds from its worst performance in three years,” Stillwell reports. “Employment in the U.S. reached a milestone last month as payrolls pushed past their pre-recession peak for the first time, while fewer firings are also helping put more Americans at ease about spending.

“The labor market is continuing to improve, and it’s been pretty good the last few months in terms of the pace,” said Sarah House, an economist at Wells Fargo Securities LLC in Charlotte. “We do think that we’ll continue to see improvement in the second half of 2014.”

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