US employers in May added the fewest workers in six years, while the unemployment rate fell to an eight-year low.
The Labor Department’s report Friday showed that nonfarm payrolls grew by 38,000 in May, much less than expected, while the unemployment rate fell to 4.7%.
Economists had forecast that nonfarm payrolls grew by 160,000, which would have matched April’s pace, and that the unemployment rate slipped to 4.9% from 5%, according to Bloomberg.
The pace of month-on-month job gains has slowed since October. The nonfarm payroll print for March was revised to 123,000 from 160,000.
While this suggests that employers are scaling back hiring, it’s worth considering that the low unemployment rate means that fewer new workers are willing and able to work.
With the Federal Reserve considering an interest-rate hike this summer, the jobs report was being watched for progress on the full-employment leg of its mandate. Fed fund futures, which reflect traders’ expectations on future interest rates, plungedafter the jobs report.
Via Bloomberg, here’s what Wall Street was expecting: