The U.S. economy added only 138,000 jobs last month, nearly 50,000 fewer than expected, but the unemployment rate fell to 4.3 percent, its lowest level in 16 years.
The labor force again shrunk in May, falling two-tenths of a point to 62.7 percent, close to the lowest level since the 1970s. A poor labor participation rate was one of the major criticisms launched by Republicans against Barack Obama.
Meantime, job increases were revised downward a total of 66,000 for April and March. Through May, employers have been added 162,000 jobs per month, a middling pace that is even slower than in 2016.
According to the Wall Street Journal, many economists think the labor market is reaching full employment, but companies are still not yet raising wages because of an uncertain business climate.
Trump staked his campaign on jobs, and he’ll have to do better on wages, positions added, and the labor force participation rate if he wants to claim that he is keeping his promises to create better and more jobs for American workers.