By Maireid Mcardle • National Review
The American economy finished stronger than expected in May, according to the Labor Department’s jobs report, released on Friday.
The unemployment rate was expected to remain steady but dropped a tenth of a point to 3.8 percent, the lowest since April 2000.
The U.S. added 223,000 non-farm jobs in May, beating the estimate of about 188,000.
Even the underemployment rate, including discouraged workers and those with part-time positions who would rather be working full-time, hit the lowest since May 2001 at 7.6 percent.
President Trump teased the strong jobs report early Friday morning, tweeting that he was “looking forward” to it.
The lower unemployment rate was affected, however, by a one-tenth point decline in the labor force participation rate to 62.7 percent.
Average hourly wages jumped a modest 8 cents, or 0.3 percent, to 2.7 percent growth since last year.
The job fields that benefited were retail with 31,000 more jobs, health care with 29,000, construction with 25,000, professional and technical services with 23,000, transportation and warehousing with 19,000, manufacturing with 18,000, and mining with 6,000 jobs.
The monthly jobs gains in May were the strongest since February. The Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates later this month and will likely do so once more before the end of the year. Fears of inflation, currently at just over 2 percent, still haunt investors, however, who are still on alert after a year of market volatility.
The Dow is expected to rise more than 100 points after the release of the unexpectedly strong jobs report.