The American economy gained 75,000 jobs last month. We need 90,000 new jobs just to keep up with population growth, which means that net job growth clocked in at a terrible -15,000 jobs. At the same time, the March and April numbers were revised downward by 75,000 jobs. The headline unemployment rate remained at 3.6 percent.
There was brighter news on the earnings side. Wages of production and nonsupervisory workers increased at an annualized rate of about 3.8 percent. Adjusted for inflation, that’s an increase of nearly 2 percent. Not bad. On the other hand, hours worked was down, so net weekly wages were down about 2 percent (adjusted for inflation).
All in all, this is a pretty weak report, and it continues the fairly weak jobs numbers we’ve seen since the beginning of the year. Is this because our 10-year expansion is finally running out of steam? Or because of Donald Trump’s trade war? Or is it just a blip? Stay tuned.