Despite Trump’s recent boasts, job growth cools unexpectedly

Ahead of this morning’s jobs report, most projections pointed to growth in May between 175,000 and 180,000 jobs. Unfortunately, the results fell far short of those rosy expectations.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this morning that the economy added just 75,000 jobs last month, while the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.6%. The revisions from the previous two months were also disappointing: job totals from March and April were both revised down, subtracting 75,000 from previous reporting.

What’s especially discouraging about this latest report is that many assumed it would be inflated in the opposite direction: as Census hiring picks up, a variety of observers believed the overall total would appear deceptively good. Now that we’re seeing the preliminary data, that obviously didn’t happen.

As for the political implications, Donald Trump has now been in office for 28 full months – February 2017 through May 2019 – and in that time, the economy has created 5.4 million jobs. In the 28 full months preceding Trump’s presidency – October 2014 to January 2017 – the economy created 6.1 million jobs.

The Republican continues to tell the world that he’s overseeing the strongest domestic job growth in American history, which is plainly false. What’s more, the White House has not yet offered an explanation for why job growth has slowed since Trump took office.

Above you’ll find the chart I run every month, showing monthly changes in total jobs since the start of the Great Recession. The image makes a distinction: red columns point to monthly changes under the Bush and Trump administrations, while blue columns point to monthly job changes under the Obama administration.