The U.S. created 223,000 new jobs in May, another strong gain that knocked the unemployment rate down to an 18-year low of 3.8%.
Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected a gain of 200,000 nonfarm jobs. The average hourly wage paid to American workers rose by 8 cents, or 0.3%, to $26.92. The yearly rate of pay increases rose to 2.7% from 2.6%.
Employment gains for April and March were revised up by a combined 15,000, the Labor Department said Friday. The government said 159,000 new jobs were created in April instead of 164,000. March's increase was raised to 155,000 from 135,000.