Labor Department data came out weak, but is the economy slowing?

Last Friday, the Labor Department released employment figures for the month of May.  The numbers were somewhat disappointing.  Many economists are suggesting that these data mean that the economy is slowing down.  Some say this may be the beginning of the end of the long recovery and expansion from the last recession. While economists expected the economy to add 180,000 jobs in May, only 75,000 were added.  And the number of jobs added in the prior months was reduced by 75,000.  That means that the 2019 monthly average is 60,000 jobs lower than it was in 2018.  Oddly, the unemployment rate remained constant at a record low 3.6%. Many employers report difficulty finding qualified employees, which they say is holding down hiring.  While wage growth still exceeds 3% annually, the growth rate did slip a bit from the prior month.  That is not consistent with a tight labor market, where the expectation...(Read Full Post)
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