WASHINGTON – Fewer jobs were added to the U.S. economy during May than in the previous month; however, the national unemployment rate remained at its lowest level since 1969, according to a report released Friday.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 75,000 jobs were added to the economy in May, compared with 263,000 in April. The unemployment rate for both months is 3.6%.
Analysts had predicted that 175,000 jobs would be added in May.
It is unclear if the trade war with China and President Donald Trump’s threat to impose tariffs on Mexico has caused employers to reconsider their long-term prospects in what has been an exceptionally strong economy over the past two-and-a-half years.
When President Donald Trump took office in January 2017 the unemployment rate was 4.8%.
The stock market has experienced near-unprecedented gains since Inauguration Day with more than 100 records set during Trump’s administration.
On. Jan. 20, 2017, the day Trump was inaugurated, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 19,827. The Dow’s record-high close of 26,828 occurred on Oct. 3, 2018. Friday afternoon the Dow had edged just over 26,000.
The S&P 500 index, which many analysts say is the best indicator of market strength, was in the 2,200-range when Trump took office. On Friday afternoon the S&P was over 2,800.