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U.S. adds 223,000 jobs in May; unemployment lowest since 1969

Last month, the United States added 223,000 jobs and the unemployment rate matched its lowest level in a half-century, the Labor Department said Friday.


The Bureau of Labor Statistics said in its report employment edged up in the retail, healthcare and construction sectors.


Retail trade added 31,000 jobs while manufacturing added 18,000. The construction industry, often a key contributor to U.S. workforce growth, gained 25,000 jobs.

Healthcare jobs increased by 29,000, in line with the average monthly gain over the past year.

May's workforce increase was higher than the average monthly gain of 191,000 over the prior 12 months, the Labor Department said.

May's unemployment rate sank to 3.8 percent as the number of Americans submitting jobless claims declined by 6.1 million -- the lowest mark since 1969, matching a level notched in 2000.

The number of long-term unemployed barely changed, at 1.2 million and accounted for 19.4 percent of the total unemployment figure, the Labor Department said.

In April, unemployment hit 4 percent for the first time since 2000.

President Donald Trump hinted Friday a solid jobs report was coming, a break in traditional protocol involving the release of the monthly Labor Department statistics.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told CNBC Friday morning, "I don't think he gave anything away."

"I think this is all according to routine, law and custom," he added.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the tweet was appropriate because "he didn't put the numbers out."

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