Iowa's unemployment rate dropped for the third consecutive month in May, falling to 4.6 percent from 4.7 in April. The rate was 5.3 percent in May 2012. Meanwhile, the U.S. unemployment rate rose to 7.6 percent in May from 7.5 percent in April. "The Iowa job market picked up momentum in May, as businesses added more jobs than anticipated," Teresa Wahlert, director of Iowa Workforce Development, said in a news release. "Iowa's nonfarm jobs grew by 5,300 in May, the largest monthly total reported so far this year." The statewide estimate of unemployed persons fell to 76,800 in May from 77,600 in April. The year-ago count of unemployed was 10,400 higher at 87,200. Total employment also rose to its highest level for the year, increasing to 1,576,800 in May. This figure was up from 1.57 million in April and 1.55 million a year ago. The Des Moines metro area added 4,000 jobs in May, lifting total nonfarm employment to 337,000. This month's gain puts the MSA at a new all-time high. Private services comprised most of the movement this month. Government added 300 jobs due to gains in local government and more than offset slight losses in state and federal government.