Jobs numbers are out for the month of May, missing consensus expectations of 158,000 by 120,000 jobs--off by a mile, and below the lowest of the range of expectations.
The unemployment rate declined by 0.3 percentage point to 4.7 percent in May, and nonfarm payroll employment changed little (+38,000), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in health care. Mining continued to lose jobs, and employment in information decreased due to a strike.
What's more, hefty downward adjustment to prior months' readings clipped 59,000 payroll additions from March and April totals, yielding a three-month average gain in jobs of 116,000 per month.
The data point will move markets temporarily, and may sway yet another vacillation on the part of the Federal Reserve on a move to tighten monetary policy by raising interest rates. Wall Street will react. More importantly, though, will Main Street? Here's some good first-blush analysis from Calculated Risk's Bill McBride.
The headline number suggests that the heady days for an economy growing steadily and producing new jobs in the private sector may be checking up. The question is, what becomes of consumer sentiment if not a whole lot of jobs get created to feed a monthly storyline. Does it matter much if unemployment rates are in check and wage growth is finding traction here and there?
An even more compelling question has to do with the economy's sustaining ability to create new good jobs, jobs we want our children to have an opportunity to do as they build careers and households, and families and communities.
Technology is the catch-all for where the jobs are supposed to come from tomorrow and tomorrow. What about today?