NAM Says Weak Employment Report Signals Softening Economy

Manufacturers’ group calls on Federal Reserve to take up a holding pattern on interest rates

Today’s Labor Department report that the overall economy added just 75,000 jobs in May, while losing 14,000 in the manufacturing sector, underscores the National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) push for the Federal Reserve to pause their interest rate hikes.

“Today’s report is the latest in a string of indicators that all point to a slowing economy,” said David Huether, NAM’s Chief Economist.  “The message for the Federal Reserve should be clear; the checkered flag is waving and the long interest-rate hiking race is over.  At its next meeting the FOMC should pause and take up a holding pattern.

“This is the third consecutive monthly deceleration in employment growth,” Huether continued.  “Moreover, the combined 201,000 jobs created in April and May was the smallest two-month gain since the Hurricane-induced slowdowns last September and October.”  

While the drop-off in manufacturing jobs was the largest monthly drop since September, the largest decline was 27,000 jobs in retail trade.  “This signals that the recent rise in gasoline prices is reducing consumer’s ability to spend in other areas,” Huether said.

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