On the downside, government saw the biggest decline as a net 9K people lost their jobs, with the losses coming at the state and local levels. Retail trade lost another 6K positions, bringing total losses to 80K over the last four months as the industry continues to struggle with competition from online retailers. Manufacturing lost 1K jobs as the motor vehicle industry slump continues. Information services employment cut another 2K jobs, the eighth straight decline as the sector’s worst slump since the recession continues.
The 36K difference in job growth in May versus April was largely due to much less hiring in leisure and hospitality services, healthcare, manufacturing and government.
Average hourly earnings rose 0.2% and were up 2.5% from a year ago, down a bit from the 2.9% pace back in December. With inflation cooling recently, real wage growth has rebounded slightly but remains very weak.
Today’s report, along with weak housing data, a slowing vehicle market and softening inflation, gives more credence to a call for no Fed rate hike in June.