May Jobs Weakness Could Be Due to Retailers, Strikers

May’s employment report could be just as weak if not weaker than April’s, due to an expected slowdown in hiring at big chain stores and the temporary impact of the Verizon strike.

The consensus estimate of economists is for 164,000 nonfarm payrolls, with the unemployment rate at 4.9 percent, according to Thomson Reuters. In April, the unemployment rate was 5 percent and payrolls were at 160,000, a shocking 40,000 below what was expected.

This month, economic forecasters have lowered their expectations due to the impact of 35,000 striking Verizon workers. The company announced an end to that strike last week. The jobs report is expected at 8:30 a.m. EDT Friday, at the same time international trade data is released. There are also ISM nonmanufacturing and factory orders at 10 a.m.


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Craig Erlam

Craig Erlam

Senior Currency Analyst at OANDA
Based in London, England, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a Market Analyst. With more than five years' experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while conducting macroeconomic commentary. He has been published by The Financial Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Telegraph, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Sky News, Bloomberg, CNBC and BBC. Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and he is recognized as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.