The US unemployment rate could equal its lowest point in half a century when the Department of Labor publishes the May jobs report at 8:30 a.m. ET on Friday.
This is what you should look at.
1. How low can we go? Unemployment stands at 3.9%, the lowest since 2000. If the unemployment rate drops to 3.8%, it will join the lowest level since 1969, a milestone in the recovery of 10% of Unemployment in 2009. Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters predict the unemployment rate will remain at 3.9% after a steeper fall than expected last month.
2. Payroll Earnings: Employers have added about 200,000 jobs a month, on average, in 2018. Economists predict an increase of 188,000 in May. Companies are having a hard time finding qualified workers, and economists believe they will keep the number down. "It is not clear how much the labor market will improve, we have already gone so far, we have exhausted most of the slack," said Josh Wright, chief economist at the software firm iCIMS.
3. Increase in salaries: Salary growth has strengthened in recent months. Economists project wages in May to rise 0.2% from April and 2.7% compared to the same point last year. Economists have argued that employers will offer better wages to workers as the labor market continues to narrow. "Many companies responded to the shortage of talent by raising wages," the Federal Reserve said in a survey on Wednesday.
4. Where are the workers? Professional and commercial services and the health care industry have anchored gains at work during recovery. Economists expect another strong month for both. The manufacturing industry has had a solid career in recent months as the economy expands. "It will be interesting to see if that can maintain momentum," Wright said.
CNNMoney (New York) First published on June 1, 2018: 12:01 AM ET