Public- and private-sector payrolls added 75,000 jobs last month, according to this morning’s jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s significantly fewer than the 175,000 jobs predicted by economists prior to the report’s release. The unemployment rate remained at 3.6 percent.
“This is a noticeable slowdown from the pace we’ve experienced this year so far, which has averaged 164,000 a month, and slower than the average monthly growth for the last 12 months (196,000),” writes Elise Gould, a senior economist at The Economic Policy Institute. “While we would expect job growth to level off as the economy approaches full employment—and 75,000 jobs is about what we need to keep up with today’s population growth—the pace of the slowdown in recent months is troubling.”
However, some of the slowdown may be due to employers having trouble filling open positions.
“Part of the reason hiring may have tapered off, economists say, is a growing shortage of skilled labor in the tightest labor market in decades,” writes Jeffry Bartash at MarketWatch. “Many companies say they can’t find people to fill a large number of open jobs.”
The Bureau of Labor Statistics revised downward previous reports for March and April, subtracting 75,000 jobs from those tallies.
Where Jobs Are Growing
The following industries added jobs last month:
- Professional and business services (+33,000 jobs)
- Health care (+16,000 jobs)
- Construction (+4,000 jobs)
Other industries were largely unchanged for the month, including manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, mining, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, government and leisure and hospitality.
Average hourly earnings increased by 6 cents to $27.83 last month and 3.1 percent for the year. However, The PayScale Index shows that real wages — the buying power of workers’ pay with inflation taken into account — were 9 percent lower in Q1 2019 than in 2006, prior to the last recession.
Tell Us What You Think
What’s your take on this jobs report? We want to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter.