US employers add modest 138K jobs; rate dips to 4.3 percent

Payroll processor ADP reported that in a private survey of companies, it found that a hefty 253,000 jobs were added in May, mostly among companies with fewer than 500 workers.

But dig deeper into the report and the picture gets uglier.

Despite this latest improvement, job creation has gotten weaker in recent months with the department revising April and March figures lower, resulting in job additions averaging just 121,000 over the past three months.

Manufacturing employment fell by 1,000 jobs last month as payrolls in the automobile sector dropped 1,500 amid falling sales. Department stores alone have cut 18,600 jobs in that period.

Retailers continued to struggle, shedding 6,100 net jobs after a 5,800-position reduction in April.

Cooler hiring may partly reflect the challenge of finding skilled and experienced workers amid a tightening job market. But it is worth paying close attention to the industry's direction; there are almost 16 million retail jobs in the U.S. Manufacturing, which tends to get far more attention from politicians, employs 12 million people. People are better off financially and less afraid they are going to lose their jobs and their homes. The industry has added an average of 46,000 jobs per month thus far this year, in line with the average monthly job gain in 2016.

For metropolitan areas in April, the agency says, Ames, Iowa, and Boulder, Colo., had the lowest unemployment rates, at 1.7 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively.

More news: Two Games For June's PlayStation Plus Leaked By Turkish PlayStation Twitter

The 2016 May jobs report stunned everyone when the US only added 38,000 jobs (it was later revised up a little). It's too soon to worry, but not too soon to start paying attention.

The national unemployment rate nudged lower, to 4.3 percent from 4.4 percent - a 16-year low.

There was some good news in the employment report.

The government only considers people unemployed if they are actively looking for work. Workers generally enjoy higher incomes once they generate more value per hour on the job.

Nonfarm payrolls increased by 138,000, well below the 185,000 figure pencilled in by economists, while numbers for March and April were revised down by a total 66,000. Some economists pointed out that the retirement of baby boomers would continue to press down labor-force participation. The two forces have more or less offset over the past year, with the participation rate bouncing around but not really moving either up or down.

The May figures indicate the US economy remains strong, and suggest a likely increase in the Federal Reserve's benchmark rate, later in June. Here's what a Fed rate hike means for you. But job growth in May was down across many key sectors.

Investors, however, still see a hike as likely. The jobless rate has declined five-tenths of a percentage point this year. It led the Fed to cancel its plans of raising rates last June.

Related Articles

  • Lonzo and LaVar Ball have 'tremendous respect' for Lakers' Magic Johnson

    Lonzo and LaVar Ball have 'tremendous respect' for Lakers' Magic Johnson

    Maybe LaVar Ball really will settle down on making headlines about his eldest son once the Lakers draft him. Lonzo Ball averaged 14.6 points, 6.0 rebounds and 7.6 assists in his one-and-done season at UCLA.

    Trump keeps USA embassy in Tel Aviv, for now

    If it is not signed by then, the United States government will be legally obligated to proceed with moving the embassy. The long-standing US position is that Jerusalem's fate must be worked out through Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

    Scott Pelley out at 'CBS Evening News'

    But Pelley, 59, won't be standing on the unemployment line any time soon as the sources say he's been shifted over to 60 Minutes . Once invisible, CBS is now competitive with ABC's "Good Morning America" and NBC's "Today" show - still third but gaining fast.
  • Scientists spot rare gravity waves for the third time

    Scientists spot rare gravity waves for the third time

    And it doesn't. "We did not discover any dispersion", Sathyaprakash said, "once again failing to prove that Einstein was wrong". This theory predicts that the speed of a gravitational wave through empty space is independent of the frequency of the wave.

    President Trump Has A New Popular Tweet

    But on Tuesday night (May 30), the tweeter-in-chief set the service on fire with one of his most confounding, freakish messages. Merriam-Webster, the famed official dictionary with a notably snarky Twitter feed, also got in on the action, albeit briefly.

    Conte defends Moses after FA Cup final dive: He was exhausted !

    The Gunners were eliminated from the Champions League for the seventh consecutive season in the last 16. I don't think that if my player dived, he did it with a real intention to do this [deceive].
  • Tensions rise between Dean Barker and Ben Ainslie after America's Cup crash

    Tensions rise between Dean Barker and Ben Ainslie after America's Cup crash

    The 35th edition of the America's Cup qualifying round is in full swing, as teams raced one another over the weekend. Beating Artemis by 3 seconds "was really good for the team", French skipper Franck Cammas said.
    Strong, swift UN reaction to Trump on climate

    Strong, swift UN reaction to Trump on climate

    Senior adviser Jared Kushner generally thinks the deal is bad but still would like to see if emissions targets can be changed . That option would be much quicker, taking only a year, but would be a more drastic move from the Trump administration.

    Comey to testify before Senate committee

    The president blasted the probes online as a 'witch hunt, ' in just his latest attack on the investigations. Mr Comey was leading the FBI's probe into the allegations, and his firing sparked a political uproar.
  • Anthony Weiner Pleads Guilty To Charge Over Sexting With A Minor

    Anthony Weiner Pleads Guilty To Charge Over Sexting With A Minor

    He told the court that this fall he "came to grips for the first time with the depths of my sickness". Weiner , 51, shed tears in the federal court and apologized as he made his plea, according to TMZ .

    Computex 2017: AMD Demos Ryzen Mobile SoC with Vega Graphics

    X399 motherboards from Asus , Gigabyte, MSI and ASRock are already in development and will be ready for the launch. But information about high-end desktop processors is not the only news AMD had to share at this year's Computex.
    Trump meets Pope, calls it an 'honour'

    Trump meets Pope, calls it an 'honour'

    While in the Belgian capital, Trump will attend his first summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Climate change was on the schedule for Trump's visit to the Vatican.