US employers added a weak 75,000 jobs in May

May jobs report: Hiring slowed down in May, just 75,000 jobs added

Stocks extended their rally to cap their strongest week since November, as a weaker than expected employment report appeared to raise the odds of easier monetary policy from the Federal Reserve.

The dollar and Treasury yields fell as the data signalled the labour market was facing new pressures even before Mr Trump threatened tariffs on Mexican goods, in addition to proposed higher levies on Chinese imports.

"It definitely looks like we've downshifted in the pace of job growth", said Michael Feroli, chief USA economist for JPMorgan Chase. Hicks says there had been speculation that if the economy slows, the Federal Reserve could cut rates.

"This morning's jobs report is consistent with an economy that is continuing to slow from expansion highs", Duncan said.

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In terms of economic data, hiring in the States slowed down sharply in May after a 224,000 gain during the previous month.

The unemployment rate is at its lowest level since 1969. The unemployment rate for both months is 3.6%. Wall Street sees more than a 75% probability that the Fed will cut rates by the end of next month, according to the CME FedWatch Tool, which tracks investor bets on what the central bank will do. A separate report from the Fed showed that factory output fell 0.5% in April. "We are closely monitoring the implications of these developments for the USA economic outlook and, as always, we will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion".

"We still think Fed officials will want to see evidence of more sustained weakness before taking action", wrote Capital Economics senior United States economist Andrew Hunter in a note to clients. Wages rose by an average of 3.1% compared with a year earlier.

US hiring stumbled in May as employers added just 75,000 jobs, a sign that businesses have become more cautious in the face of weaker global growth, widening trade conflicts and perhaps some difficulty finding enough workers. Home price gains are slowing in much of the country, though, which, combined with more affordable mortgages, could soon revive sales.

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Flooding in the central US may have reduced the May payroll number by 40,000 jobs, Hassett said on Bloomberg Television.

With the China trade conflict increasing and a new battle with Mexico set to begin Monday, with dire implications for a host of industries, the unexpectedly steep job slowdown in May heightened fears the world's largest economy is beginning to sputter.

Over the last 12 months, wage gains were 3.1 per cent and have been at or above three per cent for 10 straight months, outpacing increases in consumer inflation but confirming the lack of any upward trend.

Trump's trade wars have become a growing threat. Leisure and hospitality sector payrolls increased by 26,000 jobs last month. Last year, GM said it would shed 14,000 workers. Yet wages should be rising faster than they are as employers compete for workers.

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