Strike Could Affect Payroll Count
Payroll employment is expected to show a deceleration for a second consecutive month in May, with nonfarm payrolls rising by only 135,000; that is well shy of the 200,000 per month average during the previous three months. Much of this weakness can be explained by the strike at Verizon by more than 35,000 workers, though that has been settled. Verizon employed thousands of temporary workers to keep its services going, but those job gains pale when compared to the number of striking workers. The official employment data could also be suppressed by unusually late spring breaks, which displaced school personnel during the first half of May.
Underlying job growth is expected to have held up better than the overall numbers suggest for May. Gains are likely to be concentrated in full-time professional jobs, health care and the leisure and hospitality industries. The market for existing and new college graduates is firming.