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US adds fewer jobs than expected

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Health care employers showed among the strongest growth in May

US employers added fewer jobs than expected in May, but the unemployment rate dipped further as the economy headed toward full employment.

The unemployment rate last month was 4.3%, falling a 10th of a percentage point to its lowest level since 2001, the US Labor Department said on Friday.

But payrolls increased by just 138,000, with strong gains in health care. Economists expected more than 180,000.

Official job creation figures for March and April were also revised down.

The jobs report is a closely watched barometer of the US economy and one of the metrics the US central bank considers as it sets interest rates.

A number of reports have shown that US growth in the first quarter was weak. Federal Reserve officials have said they believe the slowdown was temporary.

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