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

US payroll gains slowed in May while the unemployment rate dropped to 4.3 percent, the lowest level since May 2001.

Job growth in other major industries, including construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities and government, showed little change over the month.

Overall, employers added 810,000 jobs through the first five months of the year averaging 162,000 each month. Under his leadership, Express has put more than 6 million people to work worldwide.

The revisions to March and April, which come as the Labor Department receives more detailed information, also meant there were about 66,000 fewer gains over the two months than previously reported.

The labour force participation rate, or the share of working-age Americans who are employed or at least looking for a job, fell two-tenths of a per centage point to 62.7 per cent.

Separate reports Thursday solidified expectations that job growth for May was healthy. The national unemployment rate moved down to 4.3%, the lowest rate since May 2001.

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Additionally, 1.5 million people were considered marginally attached to the labor force-that is, they are unemployed but want and are available to work, and had looked for a job sometime in the previous 12 months.

Still, the modest growth, combined with the somewhat disappointing jobs figure, puts in question the Wall Street consensus that the Federal Reserve would raise the benchmark interest rate in June.

Employment in health care rose by 24,000 jobs in May. It may also be a sign businesses are reluctant to expand their workforce until they see more evidence the new administration's plans are translating into legislation that'll reduce taxes and spur growth.

Manufacturing employment fell by 1,000 jobs last month as payrolls in the automobile sector dropped 1,500 amid declining sales.

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

Mark Hamrick, Bankrate.com's senior economic analyst, said: "While the Federal Reserve might not be dissuaded from raising interest rates at this month's meeting, the jobs numbers might make the debate at least more vigorous".

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The ADP report, however, is not a good predictor of the private payrolls component of the employment report.

But governments, manufacturers and retailers lost workers.

Average hourly earnings, year-on-year: 2.6%.

Last month, hiring was improved in the construction sector and was relatively strong in health care. March's weak 79,000 got sliced down to 50,000, while the April number declined to 174,000 from 211,000.

February was the first jobs report during President Donald Trump's tenure, and since then the US economy has added 522,000 jobs.

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