After 104 months of steady growth, The United States Department of Labor reported Friday that only a meager 75,000 new jobs were added in May-significantly lower than the 180,000 anticipated by economic experts. To further dampen enthusiasm, the two prior months' numbers were incorrectly reported as too high. March's job count was revised substantially lower to 153,000 from 189,000 and the April's numbers were decreased to 224,000 from 263,000.
On the positive side, the unemployment rate remained at a 50-year low of 3.6%. However, wage gains curtailed in May. The average hourly earnings compared to last year were up 3.1%, lower than expectations.