The unemployment rate dropped to 3.8 percent in May – the lowest it’s been since April 2000.
The U.S. economy added 223,000 jobs in May, considerably higher than the median estimate of 190,000, according to Bloomberg.
Here are some of the highlights from the Bureau of Labor Statistics report.
1. Unemployment is at an historic low
The unemployment rate fell slightly to 3.8 percent from 3.9 percent last month.
Marketwatch: “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.”
Reuters: “U.S. job growth accelerated in May and the unemployment rate dropped to an 18-year low of 3.8 percent, pointing to rapidly tightening labor market conditions, which could stir concerns about inflation.”
2. Wages may be inching up
Low unemployment is usually expected to lead to increased wages as the labor market tightens and employers are forced to compete more to attract fewer candidates. This trend hasn’t held in recent jobs reports, but there are signs in this month’s report that wage growth is getting back on track.
NBC News: “Wage growth remained a sticking point in the mainly positive jobs report, with hourly pay up by only 2.7 percent year on year. But with inflation at just over 2 percent, workers are barely feeling any net increase. The current wage growth rate is almost half what would be expected with an unemployment rate this low.”
Business Insider: “Wage growth, which has been depressed during most of this economic recovery, increased by more than expected last month. This signals that the tighter labor market is prompting employers to pay workers more. Average hourly earnings rose 0.3% month-on-month (0.2% forecast) and 2.7% year-on-year (2.6% expected).”