Hiring slowed last month, as U.S. employers added just 75,000 jobs even as the unemployment rate held steady at 3.6%. The report suggests businesses are increasingly cautious in the face of the Trump administration's ongoing trade wars. And it could increase the odds of interest rate cuts.
The job gains in May were well below economists' forecasts of 185,000 jobs and the three-month average of 151,000 jobs. Revised job gains of 153,000 for March and 224,000 for April represented a total drop of 75,000 from initial figures.
Manufacturing continued to be a soft spot, with just 3,000 factory jobs added in May. An index of manufacturing activity released Monday fell to its lowest level in 2 1/2 years.