US employers add modest 138,000 jobs; rate at 4.3 percent

(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers pulled back on hiring in May by adding only 138,000 jobs. Hiring was still enough to help keep pushing unemployment lower.

The Labor Department says the unemployment rate fell to 4.3 percent from 4.4 percent.

Hiring in the months of April and March were revised downward by a combined 66,000. Job gains have averaged 121,000 over the past three months, a deceleration from an average of 181,000 over the past 12 months.

Average hourly earnings have risen a middling 2.5 percent over the past year.

Restaurants and health care firms posted solid job gains. Food services added 30,300 workers, while health care contributed 24,300 jobs. Construction added 11,000 jobs.

But manufacturers, retailers and governments shed workers last month.

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