US unemployment rate falls to 4.3 percent in May

US unemployment rate falls to 4.3 percent in May

Economists surveyed by CNNMoney predict the USA added 179,000 jobs in May and that the unemployment rate remained at 4.4%, its lowest level in a decade. Employers added a seasonally adjusted 138,000 jobs from the prior month. That is about two-thirds of the growth rate recorded a year ago.

Many economists believe that wage growth is right around the corner.

Most other indicators have shown no slowdown in hiring. Keep that in mind when you consider the rest of today's somewhat soggy job report.

The drop in unemployment means the labor market is at or very near full employment - the point when virtually all workers who are seeking a job have found one. The jobless rate for Asians was 3.6 percent, for Hispanics 5.2 percent and for blacks 7.5 percent.

The company responded by offering existing crews more overtime. Indeed, only 78.4 percent of 25- to 54-year-olds were working last month compared with the 80.2 percent who were in 2007 or the 81.8 percent in 2000. More workers are needed to ease housing shortages, he said. Wage growth is still a relatively subdued 2.5 percent over the past year, with little sign of any upward momentum.

Average hourly earnings increased by 4 cents to $26.22.

Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, points out that the survey was also carried out relatively early in the month in May, meaning it may have missed out on seasonal hiring that builds through Memorial Day. The latter, of course, is the unemployment and underemployment rate.

The Atlanta Fed is forecasting GDP increasing at a 4.0 percent pace in the second quarter.

That would keep the year-on-year increase in wages at 2.5 percent.

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"Companies may be taking a more cautious approach to hiring", said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Markit.

Gadomski recently spoke with a retailer that was having difficulty bringing on associates for its 250 locations. Employment in mining has risen by 47,000 since reaching a recent low point in October 2016, with most of the gain in support activities for mining.

Cooler hiring may partly reflect the challenge of finding skilled and experienced workers amid a tightening job market. So they offer $9 and deal with the consequences.

Meanwhile, the time needed to fill a job is now the longest in 17 years, Nariman Behravesh of IHS Markit said. Whether it be because they are retiring, or the work is not available, this key indicator has been weak. Wage growth, however, has remained weak and the number of people in part-time work has remained high. And it is possible that some stores want to hire but are struggling to find workers willing to accept retail wages at a time when jobs are relatively plentiful.

But the influx of job seekers can also inflict a drag on pay growth.

Goods-producing employment rose by 16,000 jobs during the month, as gains in construction led the way by adding 11,000.

"On balance, average hourly and weekly earnings continue to improve and, along with more jobs, support the case for household income gains", he said.

Areas of the country with the lowest unemployment rates in April were Ames, Iowa at 1.7 percent and Boulder, Colorado at 1.8 percent.

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