May Unemployment Rate Tumbles

June 7, 2002 ( - A sign that the labor market is slowly climbing out of a trough, the unemployment rate fell to 5.8% in May, according to figures released by the Department of Labor.

Analysts had expected the rate to rise from April’s revised 6.0% level.

According to the DoL, the number of workers on US payrolls outside the farm sector grew by 41,000, its biggest gain in 15 months.

The news follows the release of yesterday’s unemployment benefit claims figures which saw first time filing dip below the key 400,000 level that economists view as symptomatic of a recession (see Jobless Claims Dip Below 400,000 Mark ).