Government LendingMortgage

U.S. job growth cools as economic tensions heat up

The nation's unemployment rate holds steady at 3.6% in May

The U.S. economy added 75,000 jobs in May, the smallest gain in three months, after April's downwardly revised 224,000 advance, according to the latest Employment Situation Summary report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

According to the report, the unemployment rate held steady at a 49-year low of 3.6%. Overall, the number of unemployed persons edged up slightly, coming in at 5.9 million in May.

The jobless rates for men at 3.3%, whites at 3.3%, Hispanics at 4.2%, women at 3.2% teenagers at 12.7%, Asians at 2.5% and blacks at 6.2% showed little or no change over the month.

The change in total non-farm payroll employment in March was revised downward to 153,000 jobs from 189,000. With the revisions to the prior two months, employment gains in March and April combined were 75,000 less than previously reported.

The average hourly earnings for all employees on private non-farm payrolls rose six cents to $27.83. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 3.1%.

The majority of job gains in May can be attributed to an increase in jobs in professional and business services and health care. However, employment showed little change in other major industries, including construction, mining, manufacturing and more.

Here are some of the areas that showed notable changes in May:

  • Employment in professional and business services increased 33,000
  • Employment in health care increased 16,000
  • Employment in construction increased by 4,000

The average workweek for all employees on private non-farm payrolls remained unchanged at 34.4 hours in May.

The National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions Chief Economist and Vice President of Research Curt Long said the nation’s markets appeared to get what they wanted with May’s weak-ish employment report.

“Job growth of 75,000 was well below trend, and only just covered for the downward revision of 75,000 to prior months,” Long said. “Wage growth fell, which confirms that inflationary pressures are minimal. This report, combined with nerves around tariffs, will be enough to force a rate cut from the Fed in either June or July. Whether that is enough to satisfy markets will depend largely on how trade policies evolve.”

Most Popular Articles

3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

Log In

Forgot Password?

Don't have an account? Please