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Job Growth Stayed Slow In May, Report Signals

The scene at a jobs fair in Gainesville, Fla., on April 27.
Matt Stamey
Gainesville Sun /Landov
The scene at a jobs fair in Gainesville, Fla., on April 27.

There were 135,000 jobs added to private employers' payrolls in May, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report, which was released Wednesday morning.

That's slightly better than in April, when the payroll processing firm says its data show that there were 113,000 more jobs on private payrolls. (In its Wednesday report, ADP revised the April figure; it initially said there had been 119,000 new jobs that month.)

But job growth remains slow. ADP collects and analyzes the numbers in collaboration with Moody's Analytics. Mark Zandi, Moody's chief economist, says in a statement released with the May data that:

"The job market continues to expand, but growth has slowed since the beginning of the year. The slowdown is evident across all industries and all but the largest companies. Manufacturers are reducing payrolls. The softer job market this spring is largely due to significant fiscal drag from tax increases and government spending cuts."

Bloomberg News says that "federal budget cuts and higher taxes stifled greater improvement in the labor market."

Much more information about the May employment picture is due out Friday. The Bureau of Labor Statistics will release its figures on the unemployment rate and payroll employment. Bloomberg News says economists expect to hear there were 167,000 more jobs at public and private workplaces (about the same as in April, when there were an estimated 165,000 jobs added) and that the jobless rate held steady at 7.5 percent.

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.