Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 138,000 in May and the unemployment rate dropped to a 16-year low of 4.3%, the Department of Labor reported today. Economists were predicting an increase of approximately 180,000 jobs for the month. For April and May, the number of new jobs was revised downward by 66,000.
Most job gains in May occurred in health care and mining. Employment in other major industries, including construction and manufacturing, showed little change over the month.