US Unemployment Drops to 3.8% in May

The U.S. economy continued to add jobs at a solid clip in May, with nonfarm payrolls up 223,000 while the unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

Economists had been expecting payroll growth of 188,000 and the jobless rate to hold steady at 3.9 percent.

The unemployment rate was last this low in April 2000. A separate level of unemployment that adds in discouraged workers and those holding part-time positions for economic reasons fell to 7.6 percent, the lowest since May 2001. A one-tenth point decline in the labor force participation rate to 62.7 percent, tied for the lowest level in 2018, contributed to the headline unemployment rate decline.

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Craig Erlam

Craig Erlam

Senior Market Analyst - UK & EMEA at OANDA
Based in London, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a Market Analyst. With many years of experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while producing macroeconomic commentary. His views have been published in the Financial Times, Reuters, The Telegraph and the International Business Times, and he also appears as a regular guest commentator on the BBC, Bloomberg TV, FOX Business and BNN. Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and is recognised as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.
Craig Erlam