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US Unemployment Reaches Historic Low

The U.S. created a robust 223,000 new jobs in May to push unemployment down to an 18-year low of 3.8%, signaling that economic expansion still has plenty of steam.  

The increase in hiring — the biggest in three months — exceeded the 190,000 forecast of economists polled by MarketWatch.

By and large, the reported showed an economy with plenty of vigor. Most industries added jobs and worker pay increased at a somewhat faster pace.

The unemployment rate fell again to the lowest level since April 2000 as more people found work. The last time the jobless rate was even lower was in 1969.

What happened: Retailers led the way in hiring by adding 31,000 new jobs. Health-care companies boosted payrolls by 29,000, construction firms took on 25,000 workers and manufacturers increased employment by 18,000.

Steady hiring by construction and manufacturing companies is particularly surprising. They are the among the industries that have complained the loudest about a shortage of skilled workers. Record job openings, an uber-tight labor market and growing complaints about a labor shortage still aren’t leading to big pay raises most employees, but wages are rising gradually.

Hourly pay rose by 8 cents, or 0.3% to $28.92 an hour in May. As a result, the 12-month increase in wages rose to 2.7% after holding at 2.6% for three months in a row.

Employment gains for April and March were revised up by a combined 15,000, the Labor Department said Friday. The government said 159,000 new jobs were created in April instead of 164,000. March’s increase was raised to 155,000 from 135,000. SOURCE: MarketWatch

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