New jobs report signals a bustling economy
NEW YORK, NY - The American economy roared into overdrive in May, the Labor Department reported, extending the longest streak of job growth on record and echoing other recent signs of strength. The unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent, its lowest level since the heady days of the dot-com boom in early 2000. The net increase of 223,000 jobs reflected gains in a broad range of industries, from manufacturing and transportation to health care and retailing.
It was the 92nd consecutive month of job creation. Most economists expect the momentum to continue. In May, average hourly earnings rose slightly, lifting the year-on-year gain to 2.7 percent. That's healthy enough to assuage fears that wages are stagnating.
The only negative in the report was a slight drop in the share of Americans who are either working or looking for a job. Still, the overall report painted a picture of a robust labor market by any measure. Unemployment among African-Americans fell to 5.9 percent, the lowest since the Labor Department began breaking out unemployment by race in 1972. Among college graduates, the unemployment rate is 2 percent, 3.9 percent for workers with a high school diploma.