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US unemployment rate dropped 4.3% in May

04 Juin 2017

But the Bureau of Labor Statistics report for May fell well short of expectations and the office cut its tally of employment gains in March and April by a combined 66,000 less than previously reported. "This number is not the kind of report that derails the Fed from raising rates in June, in fact I think this emboldens them to continue the process because you had the resource utilization measures improve, i.e. the unemployment rate and the underemployment rate".

The healthcare industry reported another month of strong job growth in May, outpacing the rest of the economy in hiring.

"The retail locations doing well are more boutique, experience-oriented retail that provide more of a rich, contextual shopping experience", Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at Glassdoor, told CBS News.

"We still believe it is very likely that the Fed will hike later this month".

But most agreed that a hike would "soon be appropriate".

Details of the employment report were weak.

But the gains were enough to push the unemployment rate down to 4.3 percent - the lowest level since 2001. Unemployment rates declined by 0.5 percent while the number of unemployed declined by 774,000.

Wages are up slightly, up by 4 cents per hour to an average hourly wage of $26.22, and up 63 cents over the past 12-month period.

Despite the headline miss in May, job creation last month was above the three-month average of 121,000 jobs. This implies that there is still room for improvement in the job market.

The strength among treasuries came following the release of a closely watched Labor Department report showing much weaker than expected job growth in the month of May. It increased its key interest rate in December and March. Long-dated U.S. Treasury yields fell to almost seven-month lows, and short-dated yields touched their lowest in more than two weeks.

"Firms are adding workers, creating new positions and increasing compensation to attract better applicants and keep their best performers", said NFIB Chief Economist William C. Dunkelberg.

While consumer spending picked up in April, a second report on Friday showed the trade deficit widening 5.2 percent to $47.6 billion. That might sound like good news.

Economists had expected nonfarm payrolls to grow by 145,000 with an unemployment rate of 4.4 percent.

The nation's labor force participation rate - the percentage of the 16-and-older civilian non-institutionalized population that is either employed or actively seeking work - dropped two-tenths of a point to 62.7 percent in May.

The underemployment rate, the number of part-time workers wishing to work full-time jobs fell to 8.4%.

Nearly 140,000 jobs were added last month, but that's shy of predictions. Brick-and-mortar stores are struggling to compete with Amazon and other online retailers; in recent months, analysts have begun talking openly about the possibility of a "retail apocalypse".

Are employers starting to run out of workers to hire? Employment at all levels of government fell by 9,000 last month.

US unemployment rate dropped 4.3% in May