US employers add modest 138K jobs; rate dips to 4.3 percent


03 June, 2017

Economists had expected a gain of about 185,000 new jobs in May, but a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics published on Friday showed that the US economy only added 138,000 jobs.

Economists described the data as "soft", and the value of the dollar fell against a range of currencies amid the modest pay data and downward revisions to job growth in previous months. From over past 12 months, the job gains for the month of May marked a sharp deceleration from the 181,000 monthly averages.

A solid overall report will nearly certainly clear the way for the Federal Reserve to raise rates again in June.

The unemployment rate fell one-tenth of a per centage point to its lowest level since May 2001. Manufacturers let go of 1,000 workers.

The decline in the unemployment rate-while a sign of a tightening job market- was also due to a drop in the size of the labour force, as the number of people classified as employed and unemployed fell by roughly the same amount.

Average hourly pay rose 0.2% in May to $26.22.

The figures showed the U.S. trade gap in goods and services climbed by 5.2 percent to $47.6 billion (42.3 billion euros) in April month on month.

The tight labor market has also been increasingly reflected by a broader measure of unemployment that includes those who can only find part-time work as well as discouraged job seekers.

More news: World leaders reaffirm commitment to fighting climate change

Wages in May increased 2.5 percent from the year before, in line with the moderate growth they've shown in recent months.

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, estimates that monthly job growth above 80,000 or so should cause the unemployment rate to fall. The U-6 has declined since January to 8.4 percent, an encouraging sign that jobless people who had given up hope of working are now being hired.

"Companies may be taking a more cautious approach to hiring, not because they are anxious about sales, but because they are trying to assess whether the President and Congress will be successful in passing pro-growth policies", Behravesh wrote in a client note.

So far this year, the US has added 810,000 jobs. And whatever meaningful pay raises that exist are going disproportionately to managers and supervisors.

"I don't think today's report will change many minds at the Fed", says Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at Glassdoor.

Of the 211,000 jobs added in April, more than a quarter were in the generally lower-paying leisure and hospitality industry - hotels, restaurants and amusement parks.

The Trump administration has designated the pace of hiring for good-paying skilled jobs in construction, manufacturing and mining as among the key categories it monitors for economic health. Although hiring still has steady momentum, it's slower than in prior years.

If you would like to arrange for an interview with Bob Funk to discuss this topic, please contact Sheena Karami, corporate communications and PR director, at (405) 717-5966.

More news

  • North Korea says ballistic missile test successful

    North Korea has said its latest ballistic missile launch was a success, South Korean media reported today. But China has made it clear that the push for talks - and not more sanctions - is its priority.

    Frightening wreck knocks Scott Dixon out of Indianapolis 500

    Luckily Brisbane-born Dixon's vehicle came down bottom first on the inside wall after being unceremoniously flung into the air. Scott Dixon has walked away from a massive accident that left his auto torn in half on lap 53 of the Indianapolis 500 .
    Gas prices face upward pressure heading into Memorial Day weekend

    Gas prices face upward pressure heading into Memorial Day weekend

    The most expensive gas price averages in Tennessee were in Nashville at $2.13, Knoxville at $2.11 and Memphis at $2.10. However, Vitner said, the recent price rebound "has caused many to curb spending at restaurants".
  • United Nations  slams DPRK's latest ballistic missile test

    United Nations slams DPRK's latest ballistic missile test

    Saturday's launch was the seventh North Korean missile launch this year, all since Donald Trump took office. The Security Council is scheduled to hold closed-door consultations on the missile test on Tuesday.

    GOP health bill: 23M more uninsured; sick risk higher costs

    The Republican's bill is created to repeal most Obamacare taxes, such as a penalty for not purchasing health insurance. Budgetary rules stipulate that whatever health care bill becomes law must cut the federal budget. "That isn't right.
    Graco to recall 25000 child car seats

    Graco to recall 25000 child car seats

    Graco has recalled more than 25,000 vehicle seats because of an issue with the strength of their safety harnesses. The model numbers affected are: 1871689, 1908152, 1813074, 1872691, 1853478, 1877535, 1813015, and 1794334.
  • Senate to hear from Comey; Dems raise new Session questions

    A White House spokesperson would not comment Thursday about whether a claim of executive privilege will be sought. The staffer said the Democrats were informed that the unmasking subpoenas were being issued.
    Qld cop killer shot dead in shootout

    Qld cop killer shot dead in shootout

    Now the man, who allegedly shot dead Senior Constable Forte on Monday afternoon, is dead after taking several shots to the chest. Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers said the officer was shot "simply trying to apprehend a wanted person".
    Schapelle Corby back home in Aus

    Schapelle Corby back home in Aus

    She will be processed by immigration officials at the airport and authorities insist she will not be allowed to use the VIP exit. Corby has just gotten to the airport, where she will fly back home - the first time she's left Bali in 13 years.
  • Long-time National Football League  insider let go — Latest ESPN layoff

    Long-time National Football League insider let go — Latest ESPN layoff

    When ESPN was in the midst of massive layoffs last month , we knew that all the names would not be publicly released at the time. National Football League reporter John Clayton reportedly is among the ESPN layoffs, according to several reports.

    Stokes hits risky century in England's 330-6 v South Africa

    Stokes has recently returned from the Indian Premier League, where he was crowned the most valuable player at the competition. That became 10 off 10 balls when David Miller (71 not out) struck Jake Ball for a six and a four off successive deliveries.
    Pregnant teen banned from graduation ceremony

    Pregnant teen banned from graduation ceremony

    Maddi felt wrongly represented, despite her honesty, and abandoned by the principles the school faculty had professed. Her baby is due in September, and she plans on staying close to her family so they can help her raise the newborn.