The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that non-farm payroll employment rose by a disappointing 54,000 in May. In the prior three months, non-farm payrolls grew by an average of 220,000.
Private sector employment grew by 83,000 in May - well below the prior three-month average of 244,000. However, the public sector continued to shed jobs in May, when 29,000 jobs were destroyed.
The unemployment rate edged higher in May rising to 9.1% from 9.0% in April.
While the economy and hiring has hit a soft patch, the weakness was compounded by the fact that the April number (232,000) was based on a five-week survey, while today’s May report was based off of the usual four week period.
"The jobs report shows that the economic recovery is not firing on all cylinders," said Jim Chessen, American Bankers Association's Chief Economist.
Read the press release.