The U.S. economy added 138,000 jobs in May, according to the monthly jobs report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics Friday morning.

Employment in health care rose by 24,000 jobs in May. The wholesale and retail trade unemployment rate likewise fell from 4.8 percent in April to 3.1 percent in May.

There were some bright spots in May's jobs report that reflect an economy that continues to run neither too hot nor too cold, with economic growth holding at a tepid but far from recessionary 2 percent annual rate.

The decline in that measure is an encouraging sign that jobless people who had given up hope of working are now being hired.

But because most of its positions are entry-level jobs geared for younger workers, the company has been able to pay them in part through bonuses rather than hourly raises.

"Some states are already at 3.5 or 3.8 percent [unemployment]".

Prior to the report, US financial markets had nearly priced in a 25 basis points increase in the Fed's benchmark overnight interest rate this month, according to CME FedWatch. That was compared with a 5-cent gain in April, a figure that was revised down from the initial estimate of 7 cents.

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US payroll gains slowed in May while the unemployment rate dropped to 4.3 percent, the lowest level since May 2001.

Average hourly earnings for private-sector workers increased by four cents to $26.22 an hour in May.

Still, most analysts think job growth is solid enough for the Federal Reserve to feel confident enough to raise interest rates again when it meets in two weeks.

Experts were split on the report. The latest reading on payrolls is within a reasonable deviation of the recent trend, he said.

David Berson, chief economist for Nationwide, was much more negative.

"The Employment Situation report for May 2017 is surprisingly weak across the board", said Harry Holzer, author of Where Are All The Good Jobs Going? "That's always ugly", Dan North, chief economist at Euler Hermes North America, said of the decline.

But economists at Moody's Analytics said the soft jobs number in May might omit summer hiring that occurred later in in the month.

The U.S. central bank raised interest rates by 25 basis points in March. This is a new post-crisis low for the unemployment rate - which is now at its lowest level since May 2001 - while headline job gains missed expectations. The economy needs to create 75,000 to 100,000 jobs per month to keep up with growth in the working-age population. "It's inevitable that we would start to see a slowdown in the payroll numbers".

Overall, employers added 810,000 jobs through the first five months of the year averaging 162,000 each month.

The dollar hit a seven-month low against a basket of currencies on the diminishing rate hike prospects in the second half of the year.

Energy jobs were particularly in focus Friday following President Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.