Consumer confidence rose for the third straight month in May to the highest in more than two years as concerns about the labor market continued to ease, according to a private sector report released on Tuesday.

The Conference Board, an industry group, said its index of consumer attitudes rose to 63.3 in May, the best level since March 2008, from a downwardly revised 57.7 in April.

The median of forecasts from analysts polled by Reuters was for a reading of 59.0 for May.

May's results showed Americans were little affected by the sharp sell-off in U.S. stock markets early in the month. The Dow Jones Industrial Average on May 6 briefly fell nearly 1,000 points -- its biggest intraday point drop ever. The cutoff date for the Conference Board's May survey was May 18.

The expectations index rose to 85.3 in May from 77.4, the best level since August 2007.

The present situation index increased to 30.2 from 28.2, the highest since December 2008.

Consumers' labor market assessment continued to improve. The jobs hard to get index fell to 43.6 from 44.8, while the jobs plentiful index was little changed at 4.6 percent.

(Reporting by Wanfeng Zhou and John Parry; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)