U.S.: Employment Slowing, Odds of Fed Cuts Rising

Dan North
Dan North Chief Economist North America

The May employment report was a major disappointment, showing job gains of only +75k vs. expectations of +180k, and downward revisions of -75k from the previous two months. Job growth has been slowing over the past three, six, and 12 months. Weakness was widespread across most industries. Wages disappointed too as the y/y rate fell to +3.1% from +3.4% three months ago. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.6%, and the participation rate was also unchanged at 62.8%. The report adds to a growing body of evidence that the economy is slowing and the odds of a recession are rising. In addition, the Fed Funds futures market shifted dramatically last week and is now pricing in at least two full cuts this year, with the first one coming in July. A separate report showed weak inflation, as the increase in headline producer prices fell from +2.2% to +1.8%, the lowest in over two years. The less volatile core inflation rate slipped from +2.4% to +2.3%.