U.S. hiring slowed in May as employers added just 75,000 jobs, a sign that businesses may have become more cautious in the face of slowing global growth, trade fights and the fading stimulus from tax cuts and greater government spending.
The Labor Department says the modest increase follows a healthier gain of 224,000 in April. Hiring in the previous two months was revised lower by a combined 75,000. The unemployment rate remained at a nearly 50-year low of 3.6%. The job gains in May were the fewest since February.
In the first five months of this year, hiring has averaged 164,000 a month, a solid pace that is enough to lower the unemployment rate over time. Still, that’s below last year’s pace of 225,000.
Wages rose 3.1% from a year earlier, down slightly from last month’s gain of 3.2%.