May’s Jobs Report Data Falls Short of Expectations

Jun 11, 2019
| Michael Altiero

May 2019 Jobs Report


After a sluggish start to the new year, the job market has rebounded the last two months. In April, unemployment fell to 3.6%, the lowest level since December 1969.

And job creation crushed estimates of around 190,000 jobs by coming in at 263,000 new jobs. With these great results, expectations were once again high for May’s results, which were just released this past Friday.

However, the data wasn’t what many economists and analysts were hoping for. Let’s take a closer look at the May 2019 Jobs Report.
 

The U.S. Economy Created Just 75,000 Jobs

With job growth data being positive in both March and April, experts predicted the economy to create around 180,000 jobs in May. But the actual results missed expectations by significant margin, with just 75,000 jobs created.

In another negative results, the results for March and April were revised downward. March’s number decreased from 189,000 to 153,000 while April went from 263,000 to 224,000.

According to some analysts, this miss could signal the beginning of an economic downturn that has been predicted for some time, given how healthy the economy has been over the last several years. Others, though, believe it is just a small hiccup. All eyes will be on the job creation data for June to see if this result continues or is just a one-month trend.
 

Unemployment Rate Stays at 3.6%

Despite the poor job creation results, unemployment data held strong. The rate stayed at 3.6%, keeping unemployment at its lowest rate since 1969.

Additionally, a broader rate that includes discouraged workers and underemployed individuals fell to 7.1%, the lowest rate since December 2000.

Considering the missed job numbers, the results for unemployment rate was a win for the May Jobs Report, and a sign that perhaps the economy is still in a position to grow in the coming months.
 

Wage Growth Slows Slightly

As we have mentioned before, one of the most anticipated numbers in recent months has been wage growth. April month saw this number at 3.2% year over year, which was the same as March.

In May, wage growth came in at 3.1% year over year, slightly missing estimates of 3.2%. The results were that average hourly earnings increased 6 cents to $27.83.

Since mid-2018, wage growth has remained over 3% each month, but hasn't increased beyond that. This is important because it helps to keep inflation down and is factored by the Fed when considering increases to interest rates.
 

Will The Job Market Falter Again in June?

The results from May’s Job Report are a disappointment in most critical areas, although not all the data is negative. Whether this means the start of a downturn or its just a one-month trend will depend on how the market performs in June and throughout the rest of the summer months.

One thing for sure is that economists, analysts, and the general public will be eagerly awaiting the next Jobs Report when it comes in early July.

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