Published: Sat, June 03, 2017
Finance | By Laverne Griffith

Unemployment rate dips to 4.3 percent; US employers add modest 138K jobs


The rate hit a modern-day low of 62.4 percent in September 2015, but it climbed to 63 percent in March this year.

"Since January, the unemployment rate has declined by 0.5 percentage point, and the number of unemployed has decreased by 774,000", the BLS said. The highest unemployment rate was in El Centro, Calif., at 19.2 percent.

The U.S. Labor Department publishes the May jobs report Friday.

Companies are now choosing from among a smaller pool of applicants, especially for those who have the education or skills they need. Under his leadership, Express has put more than 6 million people to work worldwide.

The total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 138,000 in May, lower than market expectation of about 180,000, according to data released by the Labor Department on Friday.

"Some states are already at 3.5 or 3.8 percent [unemployment]". Job gains have averaged 121,000 over the past three months, compared with an average of 181,000 over the past 12 months.

Employment in health care rose by 24,000 in May.

Goods-producing employment rose by 16,000 jobs during the month, as gains in construction led the way by adding 11,000.

Annual growth in average hourly earnings has been so-so in recent months.

Mining added 6,600 jobs in May, with 7,900 jobs added in support activities. As the employment rate keeps dropping, average wage growth will accelerate, the thinking goes - a phenomenon known as "nonlinear acceleration".

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In May, employment in professional and business services continued to trend up (+38,000). Employers have added more than 2 million jobs in the past year, and a month or two of slow growth isn't unusual.

The greenback fell to seven-month troughs against euro and Swiss franc, while sliding from a one-week high versus the yen. Hiring fell for the fourth straight month among traditional retailers that continue to lose ground to Internet rivals.

By comparison, the USA added 615,000 jobs between February and April of a year ago, and 586,000 jobs in 2015.

The government's report suggested that eight years into the recovery from the Great Recession, job growth may be slowing after a long stretch of robust gains.

Looking behind the immediate numbers, the picture is mixed at best. The wholesale and retail trade unemployment rate likewise fell from 4.8 percent in April to 3.1 percent in May.

Average hourly earnings for private-sector workers increased by four cents to $26.22 an hour in May.

Despite the slower job growth, the historically low jobless rate might give the Federal Reserve the leeway to increase interest rates.

The May figures indicate the USA economy remains strong, and suggest a likely increase in the Federal Reserve's benchmark rate, later in June.

The national unemployment rate nudged lower, to 4.3 percent from 4.4 percent - a level that was already the lowest in 10 years when it was announced last month.

Analysts were split over whether the May report was encouraging or disappointing.

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