June 27, 2019

The rate of job growth was lower in May, a 1.5 percent annual rate, not yet a cause for concern but we’ll watch closely to see what the data look like next month. The economy has been creating jobs at a modest rate, by historical standards. Any further slowing can quickly lead to trouble.

Part of the slowdown in May was because employers stopped hiring more temporary workers, a sign they anticipate less business, not more.

Trade wars can have an outsized effect on an economy that’s slowing anyway, even though US exports of goods are less than 10 percent of gross domestic product. Our biggest exports are electronics, chemicals, aircraft and machinery.

Jobs were up 2.3 percent in business services, 2.6 percent in healthcare, 2.5 percent at restaurants, 1.1 percent in finance. Government jobs were up slightly, retail jobs down 0.7 percent. manufacturing jobs were up 1.5 percent, construction jobs 2.8 percent.