May's jobs report is in, and the numbers are weaker than expected. Employers added 75,000 jobs, well below projections in the 180,000 range, reports the Wall Street Journal. The pullback in hiring is a sign that businesses may have become more cautious in the face of slowing global growth, trade fights, and the fading stimulus from tax cuts and greater government spending, per the AP. This might actually help the stock market, however. As the Journal noted before the report's release, weak numbers could prod the Fed to cut interest rates, which investors would love.
The Labor Department says the modest increase follows a healthier gain of 224,000 in April, and hiring in the previous two months was revised lower by a combined 75,000. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, remained at a nearly 50-year low of 3.6%. In the first five months of this year, hiring has averaged 164,000 jobs a month, a solid pace that is enough to lower the unemployment rate over time. Still, that's below last year's pace of 225,000. Wages rose 3.1% from a year earlier, down slightly from last month's gain of 3.2%. "Broadly speaking, the report amounted to another dark spot amid fears of a larger slowdown," per CNBC. (Read more unemployment rate stories.)