US adds modest 138000 jobs, dropping unemployment to 4.3 percent
Jun 03, 2017, 02:05
The government revised its March and April job totals downward by a total of 66,000.
USA job growth likely remained strong in May, a further sign of an acceleration in economic activity that would effectively seal the case for an interest rate increase this month despite sluggish wage gains.
Economists surveyed by CNNMoney predict the USA added 179,000 jobs in May and that the unemployment rate remained at 4.4%, its lowest level in a decade.
"Even though job growth slowed, it's still well above where it needs to be to keep up with the working-age population growth", said Jed Kolko, chief economist at Indeed, an online recruiting site. Employers have added more than 2 million jobs in the past year, and a month or two of slow growth isn't unusual.
WASHINGTON-The unemployment rate fell to the lowest level in 16 years even as the pace of hiring slowed in May. It has dropped five-tenths of a percentage point this year.
The decline in the unemployment rate came as the number of people outside the labour force - neither working nor looking for work - increased in May.
Employment in food services and drinking places also continued to trend up in May (+30,000) and has grown by 267,000 over the past 12 months.
The unemployment rate is forecast to be unchanged at a 10-year low of 4.4 percent.
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The U.S. central bank raised interest rates by 25 basis points in March.
The signs of renewed vigor in the economy and labor market tightness could encourage the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates later this month.
The Atlanta Fed is forecasting GDP increasing at a 4.0 percent pace in the second quarter.
Another month of mediocre wage growth is further evidence. For workers who aren't supervisors, average hourly pay has risen just 2.3 percent. Average hourly earning could, however, surprise on the low side because of a calendar quirk.
Wages are up, but not as much as might be expected, he added. More part-timers are finding full-time work.
Layoffs also are at 40-year lows, which analysts say is because companies fear they may not be able to replace workers they let go.
President Trump's chief economic advisor Gary Cohn has said in recent months that the administration is focused on bringing the underemployment rate down. A broad measure of unemployment, which includes people who want to work but have given up searching and those working part-time because they can not find full-time employment, fell two-tenths of a percentage point to 8.4 percent, the lowest since November 2007. USA stock index futures trimmed gains. Payroll processor ADP estimated that businesses added 253,000 jobs last month. Ford Motor Co said last month it planned to cut 1,400 salaried jobs in North America and Asia through voluntary early retirement and other financial incentives.
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