U.S. Job Growth Brakes Hard in May

Job creation south of the border skidded to a near-halt in May in another sign that economic momentum is slowing.

A report from payroll processing firm ADP and Moody's Analytics reported Wednesday that companies added just 27,000 new positions during the month, well below Dow Jones estimates of 173,000.

The reading was the worst since around the time the economic expansion began and the jobs market bottomed in March 2010 with a loss of 113,000. Since then, the private payrolls count has increased by 21.3 million.

The most damage came at companies with fewer than 50 employees, which reported a loss of 52,000 jobs, and in the goods-producing sector, which saw a decline of 43,000.

The anemic May growth comes after a powerful surge in April of 271,000, the highest since July though revised down 4,000 from the initial reading. Private job creation in the ADP/Moody’s count has averaged 188,000 a month in 2019.

Non-farm payrolls are expected to roll in on Friday, and economists surveyed by Dow Jones expect the U.S. Labor Department to report growth of 180,000, down from April’s 263,000, and the unemployment report to hold at a 50-year low of 3.6%.