WASHINGTON (AP) _ The nation's unemployment rate held at a 28-year low of 4.3 percent in May as the economy churned out nearly 300,000 new jobs, overcoming fallout from Asia's economic turmoil.

The seasonally adjusted rate matched April's and was the lowest since February 1970. Many analysts had considered the April rate, down from 4.7 percent in March, a fluke. But today's report, from the Labor Department, underscores the labor market's strength.

Employers added 296,000 jobs to their payrolls in May, nearly matching the robust 302,000 gain in April, which was revised up from an early estimate of 262,000.