America is poised to gain jobs for the 80th consecutive month.
The U.S. Labor Department publishes the May jobs report Friday. Here are 4 things to know.
1. Unemployment expected to stay at 10-year low: Economists surveyed by CNNMoney predict the U.S. added 179,000 jobs in May and that the unemployment rate remained at 4.4%, its lowest level in a decade. They also forecast wage growth hovering around 2.6% — a slightly better rate of growth compared to recent years, even though it’s still considered sluggish.
2. Job growth slowing down in Trump era: February was the first jobs report during President Trump’s tenure, and since then the U.S. economy has added 522,000 jobs.
By comparison, the U.S. added 615,000 jobs between February and April of last year, and 586,000 jobs in 2015. Although hiring still has steady momentum, it’s slower than in prior years.
This year’s job gains will almost certainly go up Friday, though a litany of factors, not just the White House, influence employers’ hiring decisions.
3. Decent report = Fed rate hike in June: A solid overall report will almost certainly clear the way for the Federal Reserve to raise rates again in June. It increased its key interest rate in December and March.
Fed officials indicated last week a June rate hike is likely and Wall Street investors predict there’s a 91% chance of a rate increase later this month. Here’s what a Fed rate hike means for you.
4. Last year was a shocker: The 2016 May jobs report stunned everyone when the U.S. only added 38,000 jobs (it was later revised up a little).
At the time, it was the second straight month of disappointing numbers and fears rose that the U.S. job market was cooling off. It led the Fed to cancel its plans of raising rates last June. However, hiring rebounded later in the summer and the job market regained its footing.