Labor Department’s May Job Report Mixed Bag; Fed May Pause Interest Rate Hikes

Objectivity 4.8 | Credibility 4.8 | Relevance 4.7

The U.S. Labor Department said in its monthly payroll report that 339,000 jobs were added to the U.S. economy in May, beating the forecasted 190,000 jobs in spite of  inflation, aggressive interest rate hikes and overall declining economic growth.  However, a different report based on household surveys shows that unemployment rose to 3.7% from 3.4%, the highest jobless rate since October 2022.  Wage growth was also down, rising only 0.3%.  “The tug of war taking place in the economy is on full display in today’s mixed job report and keeps pressure on the Fed to remain hawkish, even if it gives them a reason to pause later this month,” said Mike Loewengart, who works for Morgan Stanley Global Investment Office.  The Federal Reserve is set to meet June 13 to decide whether or not to raise interest rates for the 11th time in a year.