The U.S. generated a modest 138,000 new jobs in May and employment growth earlier in the spring was weaker than initially reported, adding to evidence that a tight labor market is making it harder for companies to fill open jobs. Economists polled by MarketWatch had predicted a 185,000 increase in nonfarm jobs. The unemployment rate slipped to 4.3% from 4.4%, touching the lowest level since 2001. Yet the decline stemmed more from people leaving the labor force than an increase in the number of people finding work. Average wages rose 0.2% to $26.22 an hour, the government said Friday.. Hourly pay increased 2.5% from May 2016 to May 2017, unchanged from the prior month. The average workweek was flat at 34.4 hours. The government cut its estimate of new jobs created in April to 174,000 from 211,000. March's gain was reduced to 50,000 from 79,000.
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