U.S. Jobs Rise 75,000, Missing Forecasts as Wage Gains Cool
U.S. employers added the fewest workers in three months and wage gains cooled, suggesting broader economic weakness and likely boosting calls for a Federal Reserve interest-rate cut as President Donald Trump’s trade policies weigh on growth. Payrolls rose 75,000 in May after a downwardly revised 224,000 advance the prior month, according to a Labor Department report Friday. The increase missed all estimates in Bloomberg’s survey calling for 175,000. The jobless rate held at a 49-year low of 3.6% while average hourly earnings climbed 3.1% from a year earlier, less than projected. The dollar and Treasury yields fell as the data signaled the labor market — a pillar of strength for an economy headed for a record expansion — was facing new pressures even before Trump threatened tariffs on Mexican goods in addition to proposed higher levies on Chinese imports. Retail sales, factory output and home purchases have shown the economy struggling this quarter after better-than-expected growth in the first three months of the year.
Canada’s Unemployment Rate Falls to Lowest Since at Least 1976
Canada’s labor market continued its strong run of job gains in May, helping to bring the unemployment rate down to fresh lows. Employment rose by 27,700 on the month, Statistics Canada said Friday in Ottawa, bringing the number of jobs created in the country over the past year to 453,100. The employment increase, coupled with a sharp drop in the labor force, lowered the unemployment rate to 5.4%, from 5.7 in April, the lowest in data going back to 1976. Economists had been forecasting employment to rise by 5,000, after Canada recorded a record gain of 106,500 jobs in April. The Canadian dollar jumped 0.4 percent to C$1.3305. One loonie buys 75.16 U.S. cents.
China Has Lots of Policy Room If Trade War Worsens, PBOC Chief Says
China’s central bank governor said there’s “tremendous” room to adjust monetary policy if the trade war deepens, joining counterparts in Europe and the U.S. in displaying readiness to act to support the economy. In an exclusive interview with Bloomberg in Beijing, People’s Bank of China Governor Yi Gang also signaled that he’s not wedded to defending the nation’s currency at a particular level, and stressed that the value of the yuan should be set by market forces. Yi and U.S. officials including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are set to meet in Fukuoka, Japan, for Group of 20 meetings this weekend. The PBOC chief said it’ll be a “productive talk, as always,” though the topic of the trade war would be “uncertain and difficult.” Central bankers in China and beyond are increasingly signaling a willingness to mitigate the economic effects of the tariff war. The Federal Reserve and European Central Bank this week sounded more open to easing monetary policy, while Australia and India cut rates. Yi said China’s monetary policy has “to be in a sober mind position,” and the policy stance is prudent.