U.S. unemployment lowest since 2001, but there's a catch

The national unemployment rate nudged lower, to 4.3 percent from 4.4 percent - a 16-year low.

The Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate fell to 4.3 percent from 4.4 percent. Over the past three months, job gains have averaged 121,000 per month, which is still considered as a healthy pace by many economists.

The White House has hailed the rosier jobs reports in recent months and President Donald Trump has vowed to add 25 million new jobs to the economy over a decade.

Average monthly job growth is expected to slow to about 170,000 this year from 180,000 last year and 226,000 in 2015, . Today's narrative would give credence to those business owners who've said for awhile now that finding people to fill job openings has gotten much more hard as skill-sets grow stricter and unemployed workforce participants don't possess the desired capabilities to satisfy the positions. Besides the hiring pullback in May, the government on Friday revised down its estimate of job growth in March and April by a combined 66,000.

In April, there were 608,000 more Americans who dropped out of the labor force.

Ahead of Thursday's announcement to leave the Paris climate pact, Trump touted jobs growth since he took office. Data on consumer spending and manufacturing suggest the economy gained speed early in the second quarter after gross domestic product increased at a tepid 1.2 percent annualized rate at the start of the year.

Reuters reported that job growth is slowing as the labor market nears full employment and said the decline in the jobless rate was attributable to people leaving the labor force.

Market analysts widely expected the Fed to raise rate this month on the solid job market data.

Construction added 11,000 jobs while mining added 7,000. It may also be a sign businesses are reluctant to expand their workforce until they see more evidence the new administration's plans are translating into legislation that'll reduce taxes and spur growth.

After five months of growth, manufacturers shed 1,000 jobs last month.

Average hourly earnings, year-on-year: 2.6%.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday night assured Americans that France still has their backs, even though President Trump chose to pull out of the Paris Agreement.

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 138,000 in May, a decrease from April's downwardly revised figure of 174,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"While the message was a little muddied today, the evidence generally suggests the labor market is cyclically tightening, and the Fed will need to continue to lean against that", said Michael Feroli, an economist at JPMorgan in NY.

The ADP report, however, is not a good predictor of the private payrolls component of the employment report.

  • Zachary Reyes