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Economy Adds Only 138,000 Jobs in May

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.


6 Responses to Economy Adds Only 138,000 Jobs in May

  1. Not good numbers, so fodder for the cofveve on this.

    The President and Congress are going to have to work together to create a better business climate.

    In the long run, if the climate is right, it’s up to American business to kick it up.

    And if illegal immigration does open up low level jobs, it will be interesting to see if Americans of today are indeed willing to do the jobs Americans aren’t willing to do or not.

    This is not what people are looking at for a healthy economy but I am curious to see if this meme is true or not.

    • President Trump has been left with a mess in the jobs economy. He didn’t contribute to it but it’s a house of cards ready to implode. If anyone can build a solid structure on the side and get everyone moved before the other one caves in, it is him. He still needs the strength of our prayer support to make it happen.

      Part of the trouble is in this little sentence: “…many economists think the labor market is reaching full employment, but companies are still not yet raising wages …”

      I live in a small rural county in Texas that isn’t “oil country”, but has a fairly stable economy decade in, decade out. Here, employers claim there aren’t enough workers.. but employers only offer “part time temporary” jobs at minimum wage – even for skilled work such as bookkeeping, hospital administrative functions etc. So our employers refuse to commit themselves to fair practices, refuse to raise pay rates to reach the market, refuse to train people as they work, and complain the highly skilled and experienced reliable people won’t work for them.

      This is one of those underlying problems that has become cemented in place over the past 15 or 20 years, and which Obamacare tried to make permanent. It is a fundamental cultural crisis.

  2. What concerns me is that almost 95 million are not in the work force. This is from an article I found on Drudge. I’d like to know how many are in each category, especially those who have stopped looking for work.

    “But the number of Americans not in the labor force – meaning they are neither working nor looking for work – increased by 608,000 to 94,983,000 in May, close to the record high of 95,102,000 in December 2016. The not-in-the-labor-force number includes retirees, students, homemakers, the disabled, and others who have stopped looking for work for whatever reason.”

    • It’s funny… I’m one of those “other”, and I have belonged to two different survey panels over the past several years (first one, then the other). They send surveys on everything from consumer goods to politics a few times a week. They always ask about my employment status, but never once have they delved into why it is what it is.

      So no one on any side of the aisle has really been looking hard at what the genuine situation is.

  3. I live in a very small and very impoverished city in the Midwest and there are “Help Wanted” signs everywhere you look. We went to Fazoli’s for dinner last evening and there were four small children (11 and under) in the corner of the restaurant with technological devices, blankets, and dolls. Apparently they needed their mother to come in to work and she had no one to take care of the kids. No one was circulating with bread sticks, so we asked the girl at the counter who brought them to us. She apologized when she brought them to our table and said that they were supposed to have full service but they couldn’t keep workers. Young people would get employed there and tire of it quickly and quit. She said some would just walk out during the middle of a shift. She was an older woman with a teenage son and mentioned that she needed the money, so she was always there. She said she didn’t know what was wrong with this younger generation, but she felt it had something to do with social media.
    Interesting perspective from she who is in the trenches day in and day out.
    I wonder if that could have an impact on jobs. I was also told that there was a news story this weekend about Michigan having so very many jobs, but no one is applying. I imagine some of the issue might be because there is such a large Muslim Refugee population up there and they don’t speak English. Then I also wonder about people who have been on government subsidy for a long time, and I wonder if they just don’t have the confidence to enter the workforce again?
    I fear for our country, but I know that the Lord is on the throne and He is coming to take His bride soon and He will return again after 7 years to set up His kingdom here on earth.