"Not only did payroll growth, at 138,000, come in well below expectations; but job growth in the previous two months was revised downward substantially".
But the report also showed some sectors were shedding positions, with the struggling retail sector employing 6,100 fewer workers and automakers losing 1,500, amid declining new auto sales. The economy added 138,000 non-farm jobs, which disappointed analysts who predicted about 185,000 jobs would be produced. In other words, if whites were at 10 percent unemployment through September and then the rate fell to 5 percent, 75 percent of the months of that year, whites would have been at 10 percent unemployment.
The Federal Reserve increased its benchmark interest rate a quarter of a point during its March 14 meeting, which was the second such increase in three months.
Employment in health care rose by 24,000 in May.
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The Trump administration has designated the pace of hiring for good-paying skilled jobs in construction, manufacturing and mining as among the categories it monitors for economic health. In May, employment in professional and business services, which impacts the office market, continued to trend up (gaining 38,000).
But the last 12 months show no clear trend in the participation rate, according to the report.
The for-hire trucking industry lost 100 jobs during May while the wider transportation and warehousing sector added 3,600, due largely to growth in rail transportation as well as transit and ground passenger transportation employment. Over the last 12 months, this sector has added 267,000 jobs, so this month's figures actually beat the average over that period. Healthcare hiring is shrouded by ongoing efforts by the GOP to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
The slowing job growth contrasts with the euphoric observations of President Donald Trump, who in a speech Thursday took credit for "our tremendous, absolutely tremendous economic progress" since his election.
A broader measure of unemployment that includes people who are working part time but would prefer full-time jobs - the U-6, or underemployment, rate - fell to 8.4%, its lowest level since November 2007. Although the numbers were below what Wall Street expected, it "is not enough to derail the Fed at all", Mr.
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"Disappointing", says Lynn Reaser, an economist at Point Loma Nazarene University in California. But the tiny gains that had been made were knocked off this month, suggesting that fewer dropouts were dropping back in. The Fed will closely watch inflation and the jobs report when deciding whether or not to raise its rates.
Overall, South Africa's official unemployment rate increased by 1% year-on-year since the first quarter of 2016 despite overall growth in employment levels of 3.4% year-on-year.
The U.S.'s record streak of job growth kept going in May, but the economy may be starting to flash some warning signs.
The government's report suggested that eight years into the recovery from the Great Recession, job growth may be slowing after a long stretch of robust gains. If that continues, then we're unlikely to see significant jobs growth for the entire year, and that will create problems all it's own.
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