In Half A Century: Unemployment Rate Matches Lowest Point

The jobless rate inched down to 3.8% in May, another sign of the strong economy and tight labor market. That tied the lowest unemployment rate since 1969. Since then, the only other time unemployment was this low was in April 2000. The economy added 223,000 jobs, better than economists expected.

“The US economy has this incredible head of steam,” said Josh Wright, chief economist at the software firm iCIMS.

The economy been expanding for almost nine years, the second-longest streak on record. And employers have added jobs every month for seven and a half years.

Wages grew 2.7% in May compared with a year earlier. Wage growth has picked up in recent months, but economists have been puzzled for a long time about why it isn’t climbing faster. In a job market this tight, employers are typically forced to pay much more to attract workers.

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