The unemployement rate for the U.S fell to its lowest level in 16 years although the pace of hiring was slowed down in May. The unemployement rate fell to 4.3% from the previous rate of 4.4%, the last time the unemployement rate was this low was in May 2001.
The number of unemployed persons declined by 146 thousand to 7.1 million and the labor force participation rate edged down to 62.9 percent from an 11-month high of 63 percent in March. A total of 138,000 jobs were added last month, economists had expected about 185,000 jobs to be created.
Additionally the the average hourly wage grew by 0.2% climbing by 2.5% year by year. Among the major worker groups, the unemployement rate for Whites edged down to 3.7 percent in May. The jobless rates for Blacks (7.5 percent), Asians (3.6 percent), and Hispanics (5.2 percent), as well as those for adult men (3.8 percent), adult women (4.0 percent), and teenagers (14.3 percent), showed little or no change.
The labor force participation rate of 62.9% , changed little in April and has shown little movement over the past year. The employment-population ratio was 60.2 percent, was also little changed over the month but was up by 0.5 percentage point since December.
Analysts were split over whether the May report was encouraging or disappointing. For those who think the economy is close to capacity, last month’s gains were solid.