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US unemployment rate drops to lowest level since 2000

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The latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report released June 1 showed jobs trending up in several industries, with 223,000 positions added in May. The monthly unemployment rate edged down to 3.8 percent – its lowest since 2000.

The unemployment rate in April was 3.9 percent, while approximately 164,000 jobs were created in April.

Total nonfarm payroll employment for May was on the uptick with job increases in retail trade, health care and construction leading the way, according to the BLS report.

Employment rose in the following industries:

  • retail trade, 31,000 positions;
  • health care, 29,000;
  • construction, 25,000;
  • professional and technical services, 23,000;
  • transportation and warehousing, 19,000;
  • manufacturing, 18,000; and
  • mining, 6,000.

In May, little change was noted in other major industries, including wholesale trade, information, financial activities, leisure and hospitality, and government.

A June 1 news release from Associated Builders and Contractors analyzed BLS data, noting the national unemployment rate for construction in April rose 0.2 percent to 6.5 percent, compared with April 2017. The rate is not seasonally adjusted. The construction industry employed 262,000 more workers nationally than in April 2017, according to the release.

April figures for Missouri’s metropolitan statistical areas also showed improvements. The unemployment rate in the Springfield MSA was 2.8 percent for April, while the statewide rate was 3.3 percent.

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