For the millions of people who eagerly check on the job gains at the end of each month, May was a huge disappointment with only 75,000 jobs added during the month.
Economists surveyed by Reuters forecast the ADP National Employment Report would show a gain of 80,000 jobs, with estimates ranging from 123,000 to 230,000.
Private payroll gains in the month earlier were revised down to 271,000 from the originally reported 275,000 increase.
The monthly first-Friday jobs report is provided by the U.S. Labor Department’s more comprehensive non-farm payrolls report, which includes public and private-sector employment.
In the Labor Report, economists polled by Reuters were looking for U.S. private payroll employment to have grown by 175,000 jobs in May, down from 236,000 the month before. Total non-farm employment was expected to have changed by 185,000.
“Not only are factories not coming back to America, the existing companies in the country are not churning out new jobs,” Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG, wrote in a note to investors on Wednesday. “If this number is to be believed the Trump economics team is going to have to find a new way to boost economic growth as the economy is clearly slowing and a slowing economy does not make business run out and hire a lot of new people to help them sell and produce goods and services.”
The employment climate is unlikely to brighten anytime soon, as companies that were struggling to shield themselves from the impact of Trump’s 25% tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese imports are also facing the prospect of new tariffs on Mexican goods.
Trump announced that those penalties would start June 10 at 5% and escalate monthly, to as much as 25%, unless Mexico cuts off the flow of Central American migrants across their shared border.
The report, which is shared jointly with Moody Analytics, also noted that small businesses (those with fewer than 50 employees) shed 52,000 jobs in May — the biggest loss in nine years. Franchises lost 4,800.
On May 30, it was reported that America’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rose at 3.1% annual rate in the first quarter of 2019.
In the past 100 years, the Current Employment Statistics (CES) program showed that the annual employment rate in 1932 was 11.3% and rose to 12.9% in 1941, a series high. The index in April of 2009 showed a gain of 17.4%, two months before the recession officially ended.
Economists will be studying the latest statistics and, hopefully, have some solutions that will again increase job growth.