Economy adds 223K jobs in May, unemployment down to 3.8 percent

Economy adds 223K jobs in May, unemployment down to 3.8 percent

Similarly, African Americans are also benefitting from the current job market surge, as unemployment rates plunged to 5.9 percent.

The economy added 223,000 new jobs, according to data released Friday by the Labor Department, a significantly higher number than the 190,000 new jobs analysts had predicted in a recent Bloomberg survey. Unemployment has fallen steadily since the Great Recession, reports CNN Money, peaking at 10 percent in 2009.

Wages grew 2.7 percent compared to last May, but the growth is still more gradual than economists would expect with such a low unemployment rate. Economists blamed bad weather for the slowdown in job growth over those two months.

"[The Fed] wants to take some of the pressure off of the labor market to avoid overheating the economy that would push inflation too far above the Fed's 2 percent inflation goal", PNC chief economist Gus Faucher told The Hill.

Monthly job gains have averaged about 179,000 over the last three months, more than the roughly 120,000 needed to keep up with growth in the working-age population.


The one-tenth of a percentage point drop in the unemployment rate pushed it to a level last seen in April 2000. There is growing anecdotal evidence of worker scarcity.

There were notable shortages of truck drivers, sales personnel, carpenters, electricians, painters, and information technology professionals, the central bank said in its report published on Wednesday.

"There are strong signs the U.S. economy is rebounding from its first quarter weakness", said Kully Samra, vice president at Charles Schwab. Construction added 25,000 jobs in May after notching up gains of 21,000 jobs in April.

On Friday morning, markets will get a crucial update on the state of the USA labor market with economists forecasting another month of strong job growth. But some manufacturers said the steel tariffs were pushing up prices. Retailers boosted employment by 31,100 jobs last month.

Job gains in May were across all sectors.

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